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Why The Biogen-Ionis News Is A Boon For AveXis

December 27, 2016 11:13 am
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Biogen Inc (NASDAQ: BIIB) shares were seen up 2.9 percent and Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: IONS) up 4.42 percent on Tuesday following news that the FDA has approved Spinraza for treatment of spinal muscular atrophy. At the same time, shares of rival drug maker AveXis Inc (NASDAQ: AVXS) were seen down 4.18 percent on the day. However, Chardan analyst Gbola Amusa believes the market may be under-appreciating the potential of AVXS-101.

Amusa pointed out the 0 percent death rate in AVXS-101 patients so far, which is much lower than the 23 percent death rate in Spinraza and the 43 percent death rate in untreated patients.

“While we note that ENDEAR is placebo-controlled (n=72) and the AVXS-101 phase I study (n=15) is open-label, we believe the natural history of death for AVXS-101 patients, in a population group that is genotyped, suggests that AVXS-101 is a breakthrough therapy (as the probability of achieving AVXS-101’s results may be 1 in 7.5 billion) [and] that doctors and parents will prefer [it] for offering the potential for much lower rates of death than has been suggested so far with Spinraza,” Amusa explained.

Chardan has a Buy rating on AveXis and an $85 price target for the stock.

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