J.P. Morgan healthcare analyst Cory Kasimov is weighing in today on Ariad (NASDAQ:ARIA), after the company announced its key strategic objectives for 2015, including the initiation of three new Iclusig clinical trials (incl a randomized Ph3 trial of Iclusig vs. nilotinib in 2L CML), a plan to secure a partnership agreement for AP26113,advance its new development candidate, AP32788, into the clinic this year, and goal of achieving profitability in 2018.

The analyst rates the stock a Hold with an $8 price target. 

Kasimov commented: “We are encouraged by the plan to evaluate Iclusig in earlier lines of treatment with the potential to broaden Iclusig’s addressable market and believe it’s a great idea to go after nilotinib head-to-head.” He continued, “With a ~50% penetration of the on-label market, we believe label expansion/growing the addressable market is key, and the planned studies in earlier lines of therapy plus the dose-ranging trial could provide more clarity/confidence in the ultimate market opportunity of Iclusig.”

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Cory Kasimov has a total average return of 16.1% and a 57.6% success rate. Kasimov has a 5.6% average return when recommending ARIA, and is ranked #442 out of 3420 analysts.