Market Overview

Maxim Raises Target On bluebird bio From $85 To $100, Maintains Buy Rating


With the only drug candidate that was close to approval for sickle cell now off the table, Maxim’s Jason McCarthy believes that bluebird bio Inc (NASDAQ: BLUE) could see a larger opportunity for its gene therapy, LentiGlobin.

McCarthy maintained a Buy rating on the company, while raising the price target from $85 to $100.

Larger Opportunity

The analyst mentioned it had previously been assumed, due to the perceived risk of the therapy, that LentiGlobin could be an option for only about 3 percent of the patients.

“We spent time with patients, several of whom had undergone allogeneic stem cell transplant, and transplant doctors, and learned that the technology and safety for an allo BMT have improved so much that it's a viable option for more and more patients,” McCarthy went on to say.

The analyst explained that these doctors and patients appeared to be more open to gene therapy than had earlier been expected, which meant that there could be a potentially larger market opportunity for LentiGlobin in sickle cell.

Estimates Revised

McCarthy now assumes the therapy would be accessible to up to 10 percent of sickle cell patients, while the price estimate has been lowered from $750,000 to $500,000, given the larger opportunity.

“Sickle cell drug development continues to struggle with only one drug approved. While many drugs are in development that may ultimately get to approval (or fail), we believe more and more patients may turn to gene therapy as a remedy,” the analyst added.

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Latest Ratings for BLUE

Aug 2019DowngradesOutperformMarket Perform
Aug 2019MaintainsEqual-Weight
Jun 2019UpgradesHoldBuy

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