Market Overview

Spark Therapeutics Lacks Catalysts, Says Goldman Sachs

Spark Therapeutics Lacks Catalysts, Says Goldman Sachs
Related ONCE
40 Stocks Moving In Tuesday's Mid-Day Session
Benzinga's Top Upgrades, Downgrades For January 16, 2018
Your Daily Pharma Scoop: Juno Surges On Takeover Rumors, AEterna Zentaris Achieves Another Milestone, Spark Granted ODD (Seeking Alpha)

Goldman Sachs is downgrading Spark Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ONCE) after the pharma startup presented disappointing data on its hemophilia A gene therapy at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology on Monday.

The Analyst

Goldman Sachs' Salveen Richter downgraded Spark Therapeutics from Buy to Neutral and lowered the price target to $58 from $106.

The Thesis

Sparks remains a leading gene therapy company, but it has limited value-driving catalysts in 2018, Richter said. (See Richter's track record here.) 

Goldman is projecting U.S. approval for Luxturna approval by Jan. 12, with a decent likelihood of a successful launch. There are also some preclinical assets that could enter clinic, like a liver disease-focused asset in-licensed from Genethon and drugs for Batten disease, Huntington's disease and the opthalmological disease Leber hereditary optic neuropathy, Richter said. 

The price target of Spark Therapeutics was calculated by averaging the sum-of-parts valuation of $70 and the discounted cash flow valuation of $45, Richter said. Goldman projects the takeover probability for Spark at zero to 15 percent. 

The Price Action

Spark's stock dropped around 35 percent Monday after the company presented weak hemophilia A gene therapy data. The stock was trading 1.68 percent lower at $45.14 at the time of publication. 

Related Links:

11 Biotech Stocks Moving From ASH 2017

Attention Biotech Investors: Mark Your Calendar For These December PDUFA Dates 

Latest Ratings for ONCE

Jan 2018Credit SuisseInitiates Coverage OnOutperform
Jan 2018WedbushDowngradesNeutralUnderperform
Dec 2017Goldman SachsDowngradesBuyNeutral

View More Analyst Ratings for ONCE
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Goldman Sachs Salveen RichterAnalyst Color Downgrades Price Target Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga


Related Articles (ONCE)

View Comments and Join the Discussion!