UPDATE: Stifel Starts AveXis (AVXS) at Hold
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(Updated - November 14, 2016 9:08 AM EST)
Stifel initiated coverage on AveXis (NASDAQ: AVXS) with a Hold rating and a price target of $65.
Analyst Katherine Breedis said, "We believe AVXS has strong management as well as an exciting gene therapy asset, Ph.I AVXS-101, which has demonstrated very encouraging early results in the treatment of children afflicted with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1. SMA-1 is a rare neurological disorder owing to mutation of the SMN gene (aka, “floppy baby syndrome”, which affects about 240 infants/year who often die before reaching 24 months). Based on early data, we believe AVXS-101 could receive US approval and launch in the US in 2019E, with the potential to generate $530 million in revenues by 2025. However, we believe much of the upside is already reflected in AVXS’ current valuation with AVXS shares up 40% (vs. IBB +11%) following news regarding the potential Ph.I, single-arm pivotal study pathway to potential registration on November 1, 2016 (+237% since AVXS’ IPO 2/11/16 vs. IBB +15%). Further, we also see potential headline risk with the upcoming near-term potential approval of Biogen/Ionis’ Spinraza (nusinersen) for all SMA subtypes in est. 4Q16/1Q17."
Shares of AveXis closed at $67.35 yesterday.
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