Abeona Therapeutics (ABEO) PT Raised to $8 at Maxim Group
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Maxim Group analyst Jason McCarthy reiterated a Buy rating and bumped his price target on Abeona Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ABEO) to $8.00 (from $6.00) after the company announced it has licensed a next-generation AAV gene therapy platform (the "AIM" vector) from the University of North Carolina that may make gene therapy available to patients with CNS disorders who have immune responses against natural AAV vectors used in first-generation AAV gene therapies currently in development. In addition, a next-gen AAV gene therapy, ABO-202, which targets infantile Batten disease, was also licensed from the same group.
The analyst highlighted:
- ABEO stock has been driven by the focus on the company's efforts in Sanfilippo syndrome (ABO-102), with more data and patients expected this fall. We expect to see a expansion with additional gene therapy indications through recent partnerships. We also expect to see additional new gene therapies in the pipeline. The marketplace is seeing the potential in gene therapy as groups like Avexis (same vector Abeona uses, same lab) and bluebird (BLUE - $72.74 - Buy) advance their programs to later stages of development.
- Valuation. We are rolling our model forward to 2017, which increases our price target to $8 from $6.
- Conclusion. The question in gene therapy, particularly for rare, single gene diseases like Sanfilippo syndrome, is: where is proof of concept? N=1? N=just a handful? More data should continue to emerge from the ABO-102 study this fall.
Shares of Abeona Therapeutics closed at $5.78 yesterday.
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