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Wells Fargo Bullish On Applied Genetic Technologies Ahead Of Program Update

Wells Fargo Bullish On Applied Genetic Technologies Ahead Of Program Update

The bullish case for Applied Genetic Technologies Corp (NASDAQ: AGTC), a nano-cap biotech conducting human clinical trials of adeno-associated virus-based gene therapies, can be made on the basis of an encouraging pipeline and valuation reasons, according to Wells Fargo.

The Analyst

Wells Fargo's Jim Birchenough upgraded Applied Genetic Technologies from Market Perform to Outperform with a price target lifted from $6 to $20.

The Thesis

Applied Genetic's peer Nightstar Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ: NITE) released initial data from a Phase 1/2 study of its product candidate NSR-RPGR that showed multiple patients achieved an improvement in microperimetry, Birchenough said in the upgrade note. (See his track record here.) 

This is notable, as Nightstar's efficacy in visual fields validates Applied Genetic's ongoing Phase 1/2 trial with its partner Biogen Inc (NASDAQ: BIIB), the analyst said. There's evidence of higher gene expression with Applied Genetic's vector than with Nightstar's AAV8 vector, he said. 

Nightstar's data release should be well-received by investors ahead of Applied Genetic's data flow and program updates in its X-linked retinitis pigmentosa trials, Birchenough said. 

With the stock is trading below its cash on hand and at a discount to Nightstar, Applied Genetic has favorable risk-reward profile, according to Wells Fargo. 

Price Action

Applied Genetic Technologies shares were rallying 13.64 percent to $5 premarket Monday. 

Related Links:

Janney: Nightstar Therapeutics Has 'Significant Upside Potential' With Retinal Disorder Treatments

Why The Novartis-AveXis Deal Is Good News For The Gene Therapy Space

Latest Ratings for AGTC

Sep 2019MaintainsOutperform
Sep 2019UpgradesMarket PerformOutperform
Sep 2019Initiates Coverage OnBuy

View More Analyst Ratings for AGTC
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: gene therapy GeneticsAnalyst Color Biotech Upgrades Price Target Analyst Ratings General Best of Benzinga


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Benzinga's Top Upgrades, Downgrades For September 24, 2018