Maxim Weighs in on Healthcare Stocks: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Avalanche Biotechnologies Inc, bluebird bio Inc


Maxim analysts Jason Kolbert and Jason Mccarthy weighed in today on the Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (NYSE:TEVA), California based gene therapy company Avalanche Biotechnologies Inc (NASDAQ:AAVL), and gene therapy biotech company bluebird bio Inc (NASDAQ:BLUE).

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd

Teva announced positive top-line results from the pivotal clinical study Aim to Reduce Movements in TardiveDyskinesia (ARM-TD) designed to evaluate the efficacy of SD-809 (deutetrabenazine) in the treatment of moderate to severe tardive dyskinesia.

Analyst Jason Kolbert noted, “Top-line data showed that the study met its primary endpoint and demonstrated a positive trend in all secondary endpoints. SD-809 showed a favorable safety and tolerability profile with low rates of adverse events, such as depression, somnolence, akathisia/ restlessness and anxiety which represents a strong competitive advantage versus the current standard of care. Auspex had been guiding towards an NDA submission in mid. 2015.”

The analyst rates TEVA a Buy with a price target of $68, which represents a potential upside of 12.5% 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 Jason Kolbert has a total average return of 2.8% and a 42.0% success rate. Kolbert has a 17.2% average return when recommending TEVA, and is ranked #1199 out of 3629 analysts.

Out of the 19 analysts polled by TipRanks, 12 rate Teva stock a Buy, while 7 rate the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 5.9%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $64.

Avalanche Biotechnologies Inc & bluebird bio Inc

Avalanche Biotechnologies shares tumbled 56.15% today to $17.05, after top-line results for the company’s AVA-101 Phase 2a study elicited concerns regarding the secondary efficacy of several endpoints.

Analyst Jason Mccarthy commented: “Investors wanted Proof of Concept-like (POC) results, like bluebird got with LentiGlobin in just a single sickle cell patient and a handful of beta-thalassemia patients, which had sent BLUE shares soaring.” However, “Its too early to tell if Avalanche failed. This is not sickle cell anemia where we measure a simple yes or no on hemoglobin production and transfusion requirements in a few patients which could show POC.”

“That said, AVA-101 is safe and tolerable, it may have some early signs of efficacy. Avalanche will run a another trial, maybe AVA-101 works. We will see. But for now bluebird is down on Avalanche’s Avalanche. Our thesis remains unchanged, we would be buyers on weakness.”, the analyst added.

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Jason Mccarthy has a total average return of 10.9% and a 50.0% success rate. Mccarthy has a -2.8% average return when recommending BLUE, and is ranked #1788 out of 3629 analysts.

All the 8 analysts polled by TipRanks rate bluebird bio stock a Buy. With an upside potential of 26%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $215.