Roth Capital Sees Room for Optimism Following bluebird bio Inc (BLUE) ASH Read-Out


During last week’s American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego, bluebird bio Inc (NASDAQ:BLUE) provided clinical updates on its ongoing Phase 2 Lentiglobin studies in b-thalassemia major (TM) and sickle cell anemia (SCA), which has found to be mostly in harmony with prior published ASH abstracts.

In reaction, Roth Capital analyst Mark Breidenbach reiterates a Buy rating on BLUE with an $87 price target, which represents a just under 26% increase from where the shares last closed.

The analyst believes, “We expect most (if not all) non-homozygous TM patients to become fully transfusion independent. SCA remains a more difficult indication, but the emergence of another potentially cured patient is guiding the company’s efforts to optimize the therapy.”

“The company announced that LentiGlobin has been prepared for the first patient in the pivotal HGB-207 trial in TM, and efforts to increase lentiviral transduction efficiency have yielded a drug product with a high vector copy number (VCN) of 2.9; for reference, in Northstar, the median VCN was 0.8. Given the linear relationship between VCN to HbAT87Q expression observed in Northstar, we believe the new process could lead to sufficient transgene expression to functionally cure all non-β0β0 TM patients,” Breidenbach surmises.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, Mark Breidenbach is ranked #4,166 out of 4,269 analysts. Breidenbach has a 15% success rate and faces a loss of 25.3% in his yearly returns. When recommending BLUE, Breidenbach loses 4.6% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics demonstrate BLUE as a Buy. Based on 14 analysts polled in the last 3 months by TipRanks, 11 rate a Buy on BLUE stock, 2 maintain a Hold, while 1 issues a Sell. The 12-month average price target stands at $86.67, marking a 25% upside from where the stock is currently trading.

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