On Monday, September 19th, the FDA granted accelerated approval to Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SRPT) pipeline drug eteplirsen (Exondys 51), designed to treat exon 51 skipping amenable Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy (DMD).
In reaction, William Blair analyst Tim Lugo upgrades Sarepta shares from a Market Perform to an Outperform rating, while increasing the price target to $88, which represents a nearly 80% increase from where the shares last closed.
Lugo anticipates future eteplirsen sales will hit just under $2 billion per year at peak, considering that the target population of exon 51 skipping amenable patients makes up around 13% of the total DMD population, and factors this into the estimate raise.
The analyst notes, “After much speculation and controversy about the approval of the company’s lead candidate that included a highly contested advisory committee (AdCom), additional data submissions, a delayed PDUFA date, trial design changes, and the departure of a key FDA official, we are pleased to finally see a positive outcome from the regulators.”
Lugo sings the praises of the biotech firm on back of this catalyst, and expects investors will keep their eyes peeled toward the uptake of the pipeline drug’s prescriptions. Commending SRPT for the approval, the analyst sees only positive prospects paving way for a solid future for the firm, as “we are confident in the potential of eteplirsen prescription growth.”
As SRPT can now prepare to launch its DMD pipeline drug, Lugo notes that considering there is an unmet need for “DMD disease modifying drugs in the market,” eteplirsen has full range of targeting a projected 30,000 DMD patients in the United States, without a competitor in sight.
Ultimately, “We expect the company to move into a hyper-growth phase of profit generation in a DMD market with no competitive pressure,” Lugo concludes.
According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, four-star analyst Tim Lugo is ranked #821 out of 4,166 analysts. Lugo has a 37% success rate and yields 6.6% in his yearly returns. However, when recommending SRPT, Lugo faces a loss of 31.3% in average profits on the stock.
TipRanks analytics demonstrate SRPT as a Buy. Based on 14 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 8 rate a Buy on SRPT, 3 maintain a Hold, while 3 issue a Sell. The consensus price target stands at $38.58, marking a 21% downside from where the stock is currently trading.