Analyst Upgrades Biogen Citing Upcoming Conference, Competitive Readouts

  • Stifel upgraded Biogen Inc BIIB from Hold to Buy, saying shares have faded since positive lecanemab data in mild Alzheimer's.
  • It raised the price target from $223 to $299.
  • The analyst worries about residual competitive/commercial risks, notwithstanding the uncertainty around Biogen's future CEO. 
  • Stifel views upcoming Roche Holding AG's RHHBY gantenerumab data are unlikely to live up to the high bar lecanemab recently set and thinks there's a meaningful commercial role for lecanemab even if Eli Lilly And Co's LLY donanemab succeeds based on lecanemab's substantially lower rate of ARIA. 
  • Related: These Stocks Are On The Radar After Biogen-Eisai's Surprising Alzheimer's Trial Win.
  • Near term, in the most likely gantenerumab data scenarios, Stifel analyst thinks Biogen shares trade higher. 
  • It notes that the stock set-up is admittedly tricky, and the risk/reward is upside-biased, as there's more skepticism than anticipated on what looks like a best-case scenario for CLARITY-AD.
  • Also, according to a recent research report, lecanemab's benefit to patients might be limited.
  • Price Action: BIIB shares are up 7.04% at $271.54 on the last check Thursday.
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