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Stifel, JMP Securities Discuss What To Expect From AAIC Conference


In a report published Monday, JMP Securities analyst Michael King discussed the potential upside for the biotech sector ahead of the upcoming Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) that will take place July 18 through July 23 in Washington, D.C.

King noted various media reports that "drew attention" to the data expected to be presented by Biogen Inc (NASDAQ: BIIB) and Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE: LLY). The analyst also added that investors "have clearly taken notice as well" given the 5.2 percent gain in Eli Lilly shares and the 10.4 percent gain in Axovant Sciences Ltd (NYSE: AXON) shares over the past 30 days.

On the other hand, shares of Biogen are roughly flat over the same time period. The analyst suggested that investors have "concerns" as to how large the dose response effect will be when the data coming from the 6mg/kg dose arm are presented at the conference.

King also cautioned that he often tries to "exercise restraint" when making predictions going into scientific conferences. However, if the conference reveals positive data, the sector averages may move even higher.

Stifel: Biogen's Good News ‘Likely A Year Away'

Thomas Shrader of Stifel also commented on Biogen in a note on Monday.

According to Shrader, the upcoming 6mg/kg data will be "in line" with expectations and "unlikely" to move shares. The analyst added that he is "optimistic" concerning the upcoming titration arms added to the BIIB037 trial as well as anti-LINGO for MS, but neither of these are near-term events.

"We would expect the stock to continue to trade in-line with the current sector but probably to benefit from any flight-to-quality if investors tire of the endless remarkable new approaches to combat the disease," Shrader wrote.

Shrader's commentary may echo those issued by analysts at Cowen when shares of Biogen sold off on July 10.

Much like Shrader isn't expecting a bullish outcome from Biogen at AAIC, Eric Schmidt of Cowen commented that shares of Biogen can trade either up or down after the company's AAIC presentation.

Schmidt noted that Biogen's March Phase 1b results were "impressive" but the 6mg cohort "had not yet differentiated itself from placebo." He also suggested that he lacks the "conviction to recommend investors play this potential binary event."


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Posted-In: AAIC Alzheimer's Association International Conference Cowen Eric SchmidtAnalyst Color Biotech Analyst Ratings General

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