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ISIS Pharma Called A 'Sleeper Awakening' At Piper Jaffray

ISIS Pharma Called A 'Sleeper Awakening' At Piper Jaffray
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  • ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ISIS) shares are down 12 percent year-to-date, after hitting a high of $77.08 on March 19.
  • Piper Jaffray’s Joshua E. Schimmer upgraded the rating on the company from Neutral to Overweight, while raising the price target from $64 to $80.
  • The company’s pipeline has progressed and the prospects of the antisense platform are bright, Schimmer said.

ISIS Pharma’s pipeline has made progress and there is increasing confidence in the antisense platform, analyst Joshua E. Schimmer mentioned. He added, “The latest update from Biogen Inc (NASDAQ: BIIB) for the shared SMN-Rx program for spinal muscular atrophy “is very encouraging.”

The recent update for the ISIS-TTRrx program, which is shared with GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE: GSK), seems to “position it competitively” with I.V. patisiran and s.c. revuseran of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALNY) and Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE: SNY).

“And now, emerging from the pipeline, our enthusiasm for ISIS-APO(a)-Lrx for lowering Lp(a) levels is growing considerably,” Schimmer wrote. He said that this as “an unappreciated potential blockbuster product” and one that could be a highly attractive in-licensing candidate for companies like Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) or Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD).

In the report Piper Jaffray noted, “Many investors recall the failed CV outcomes trial of darapladib, an LpPLA(2) antagonist and associate this with Lp(a). But Lp(a) is vastly different in terms of structure and association with atherosclerosis and aortic stenosis.”

ISIS-APO(a)Rx has shown potent ability to lower Lp(a) levels and the peak annual revenue for this drug could be “several billion dollars,” Schimmer said, while adding that although ISIS Pharma has a track record of giving up substantial value for its pipeline by out-licensing, “even a modest royalty on sales would justify meaningful upside from current levels.”

Latest Ratings for ISIS

Dec 2015Wells FargoInitiates Coverage onOutperform
Nov 2015Goldman SachsInitiates Coverage onNeutral
Nov 2015BarclaysMaintainsEqual-Weight

View More Analyst Ratings for ISIS
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

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