William Blair analyst Y Katherine Xu came out with a favorable report on Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA), after the company announced updated clinical data on its investigational tyrosine kinase inhibitor, brigatinib, in patients with anaplastic lymphoma kinase positive (ALK+) advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) from an ongoing Phase 1/2 trial. The results were presented at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology(ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago.

Xu noted, “From the Phase I/II data, brigatinib appears to have better single-agent efficacy than the competitors in the same class, as summarized in exhibit 1, which might be its differentiating factor as the third potential entrant into a relatively small market. Furthermore, “The pivotal Phase II ALTA study of brigatinib in ALK+ NSCLC is expected to read out by year-end 2015, and Ariad is seeking a partner for further development and commercialization.”

The analyst continued, “We believe growth of the global Iclusig franchise during 2015, the release of ALTA data around year-end 2015, and potential partnership on brigatinib should serve as important catalysts for Ariad’s stock in the next 12 months.”

The analyst reiterated an Outperform rating on ARIA with a price target of $11, which represents a potential upside of 23% from where the stock is currently trading.

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Y Katherine Xu has a total average return of 18.1% and a 62.9% success rate. Xu has an -3.8% average return when recommending ARIA, and is ranked #470 out of 3633 analysts.


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