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89bio shares rise as analysts see improved outlook for NASH treatments

Shares of clinical-stage biopharma company 89bio Inc. (ETNB) gained 4.8% premarket on Tuesday as Evercore ISI analysts initiated coverage of the stock with an outperform rating. The company is focused on developing pegozafermin as a treatment for cardio-metabolic and liver diseases, including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), or inflammation caused by buildup of fat in the liver. Some investors have been cautious on NASH treatments due to the rise of incretin mimetics, such as Novo Nordisk's (NOVO-B.KO) Wegovy, for obesity. But based on emerging evidence, "we believe advanced NASH will require specialized medicines" to reverse the course of disease, Evercore analysts Liisa Bayko and Seema Sheoran wrote in a report Tuesday, adding that "the markets are large enough to accommodate multiple treatment options." The analysts' price target for 89bio is $49 per share.

-Eleanor Laise

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06-13-23 0829ET

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