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Biogen's Best-In-Class R&D Earn Makes It A Buy

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Biogen's Best-In-Class R&D Earn Makes It A Buy
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Analysts at Stifel turned bullish on Biogen Inc (NASDAQ: BIIB) for four key reasons. The firm's Thomas Shrader upgrades Biogen's stock from Hold to Buy with a price target boosted from $300 to $415.

First, there have been no news reports on the "gigantic" aducanumab phase 3 trial, which started in 2015 and was 50 percent enrolled in the second quarter of 2017, Shrader commented in his upgrade note. This should be seen as a "no news is good news" scenario as the Data and Safety Monitoring Board has likely seen a lot of data and hasn't reported anything negative.

Second, Biogen's partner Eisai is set to report an interim outlook at its plaque-busting mAb that targets the form of Ab plaque thought to lead to neuronal destruction, the analyst continued. The only possible negative outcome would be strong plaque removal with no hints of cognitive benefit and any other result could either be very good or OK.

Third, Biogen's often ignored stroke programs address a very large market. Of particular note, the company's Tysabri stoke program uncovered the "same cognitive and energy benefits in stroke patients that are routinely reported in MS patients" and turning this effect into a clinical endpoint that would be acceptable for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is the likely next step.

Finally, Ocrelizumab as part of the company's base business is "meh not mud," the analyst added. The therapy remains a drug with "remarkable anti inflammatory properties," but a commercial rollout will likely be "measured."

At time of publication, shares of Biogen were up 3.11 percent at $346.13.

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Latest Ratings for BIIB

DateFirmActionFromTo
Oct 2018JP MorganMaintainsOverweightOverweight
Oct 2018BernsteinDowngradesOutperformMarket Perform
Oct 2018Cantor FitzgeraldReinstatesOverweight

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