Spark Therapeutics (ONCE) PT Lowered 14% at Chardan Capital Markets as They See Better Value Elsewhere in AAV GT

November 7, 2016 6:23 AM EST
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Price: $57.50 +0.45%

Rating Summary:
    10 Buy, 3 Hold, 1 Sell

Rating Trend: Up Up

Today's Overall Ratings:
    Up: 22 | Down: 17 | New: 13
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Chardan Capital Markets analyst Gbola Amusa reiterated a Neutral rating and lowered its price target on Spark Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ONCE) 14% to $47.50 (from $55.00) on a lower likelihood that Spark Therapeutics, like REGENXBIO (Buy), has leading capabilities in bio-engineering AAV capsids.

Amusa commented, "On 3 November 2016, Spark Therapeutics (Neutral) and partner Pfizer (unrated) disclosed that in their phase I/II trial of AAV-based gene therapy, SPK-9001, for hemophilia B, "one participant, who had not reached 12 weeks post-vector administration, manifested an immune response to the adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsid, accompanied by a drop in factor IX activity level, and was put on a tapering course of corticosteroids. Despite the immune response and decline in factor IX activity level, this participant has not had any bleeds or required replacement factor". While the factor IX activity continues to remain high for SPK-9001 (ranging from 11-36% with a mean of 32%, per the cutoff date of the ASH abstract, versus a mean of roughly 5% seen so far for the low-dose cohort for Buy-rated uniQure's AMT-060), a patient being placed on "a tapering course of corticosteroids" in our view undermines one component of the bull thesis on Spark. We continue our view from our 24 April 2015 uniQure initiation (namely that "Spark Therapeutics in theory may have the best-in-class hemophilia B [AAV-based gene therapy] product" ) but now believe the hemophilia B result is primarily driven by the savvy choice of the Padua transgene, which provides for 5x-8x greater factor IX activity, which very roughly equates to the difference in factor IX activity (not dose-adjusted) seen in the Spark and uniQure phase I/II data."

For an analyst ratings summary and ratings history on Spark Therapeutics click here. For more ratings news on Spark Therapeutics click here.

Shares of Spark Therapeutics closed at $44.10 yesterday.

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