Maxim Group Maintains Bullish Outlook in Athersys (ATHX) Despite Trial Failure and Massive Sell-Off
Maxim Group analyst Jason Kolbert reiterated a Buy rating on today's blow-up du jour Athersys (NASDAQ: ATHX) but lowered his price target from $10 to $7 after the company's and partner Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) trial failed to meet its endpoint in Ulcerative Colitis trial.
Kolbert said, "While we are disappointed, we are not totally surprised. This is because we have always felt the trial was aggressive, treating the most difficult patients (who had failed all other therapies) with Multistem. We have for the moment removed the UC indication from our model which lowers our price target to $7, from $10. Remember that this product is partnered with Pfizer so Athersys does not realize the full benefits of the product commercially."
The analyst is not backing away from this positive outlook on Athersys "as we still believe that we can see good data from the stroke trial." He added, "We believe the stroke trial (acute patients) remains the most significant near-term event for Athersys and should not be equated to results in chronic (UC) patients. Enrollment should be complete by this summer, and the stage is set for data this fall."
Shares of Athersys are down 54.4% into the close to $1.25.
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