Amarin: Could the New CEO Help Vazkepa’s European Push?

There’s a big change in Amarin’s (AMRN) C-Suite and it looks like the Street is not happy about it. Shares took a beating in Tuesday’s trading session after the biotech company announced the departure of CEO John F. Thero. Thero who will retire on August 1, has been with Amarin for twelve years, and at the helm for the last seven.

Karim Mikhail will take over his role. Mikhail is currently the head of commercial for Europe and joined Amarin in 2020.

Mikhail held various executive roles at Merck and has considerable expertise in bringing to market lipid therapies in the EU. Between 2014 and 2018, Mikhail acted as global commercial leader in charge of all key details for Merck’s $4 billion lipid franchise.

At Amarin, Mikhail has overseen the European pre-launch and commercialization of VAZKEPA – the company’s high triglyceride treatment – which was granted regulatory approval in Europe on March 30.

Amarin is gearing up for a big commercial push in the region, with Germany anticipated as the first port of call for the launch. The European team numbers around 50 at present, which Amarin hopes to boost up to 200 by the end of the year.

Northland analyst Carl Byrnes thinks the drug could be a success in the region.

“The market opportunity in the EU for VAZKEPA is sizeable,” Byrne noted, “As cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the EU, equating to an economic burden exceeding €210B. We approximate peak sales potential of VAZKEPA in the EU to readily exceed €2B, reflecting premium pricing and unmet medical need.”

Overall, Byrnes is bullish on Amarin’s prospects; his $15 price target suggests gains of 182% over the coming months. The analyst has an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating on the shares. (To watch Byrnes’ track record, click here)

Most of Byrnes’ colleagues agree. Based on 6 Buys and 2 Holds, Amarin qualifies with a Strong Buy consensus rating. There’s plenty of upside projected too; At $10.43, the average price target implies 12- month gains of 105%. (See AMRN stock analysis on TipRanks)

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.