In a research report released Friday, Piper Jaffray analyst Joshua Schimmer reiterated an Overweight rating on shares of bluebird bio Inc (NASDAQ:BLUE) with a price target of $117, after hosting a KOL call with a transplant specialist experienced in treating childhood cerebral adrenodystrophy (CCALD) and related disorders.

Schimmer wrote, “The specialist envisions that the newborn screening will be widely adopted in the US in the next 5 years, which would transform the diagnosis and treatment paradigm for CCALD, potentially unblocking a broader patient population. Allo HSCT, which is associated with relatively high mortality (15-20% despite improvements in care) and co-morbidity, is generally avoided for asymptomatic patients. Thus we believe, BLUE’s Lenti-T, if proven safe and effective, would be uniquely positioned to benefit from this genetic screening, since patients could be accurately diagnosed and treated before symptoms even present.”

Furthermore, “The specialist believes that data presented in the BLUE AAN abstract is encouraging but preliminary. While just small progression in Loes score may be indicative of a treatment effect, the specialist noted that these early-stage patients tend to have stable neurological function regardless MRI severity score. Thus it might be difficult to tease out the benefit of Lenti-D based upon the 6-month data and longer follow-up is required before a definite conclusion can be reached.”

Bottom line: “The specialist believes if BLUE’s Lenti-D is proven to be equally efficacious to allo HSCT, it will be widely adopted and potentially replace allo HSCT as standard of care; if it falls short on efficacy for some reason, it may still have utility for a subset of patients based on safety. He does expect 3-4% mortality with an auto procedure, which is important to consider.”

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Joshua Schimmer has a total average return of -23.6% and a 17.5% success rate. Schimmer has a -48% average return when recommending BLUE, and is ranked #3745 out of 3809 analysts.

Out of the 5 analysts polled by TipRanks (in the past 3 months), 4 are bullish on bluebird bio stock a Buy, while 1 is neutral. With a return potential of 84%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $84.60.