Chardan analyst Gbola Amusa is placing his confidence behind AveXis Inc (NASDAQ:AVXS) even in light of competitors Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) and Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:IONS) recently getting the golden ticket from the FDA for broad-label approval of Spinraza (nusinersen), designed to treat spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

Nonetheless, the analyst speculates as to why AVXS-101 should still be “the superior product” in the end when considering the new Spinraza label, and as such, reiterates a Buy rating on AVXS with a price target of $85, which represents a 77% increase from where the shares last closed.

For Amusa, “A key takeaway from the new Spinraza label: The percentage of patients on Spinraza dying seems materially higher than has been seen so far for AVXS-101.”

Moreover, the analyst asserts, “With all the caveats that trials are not directly comparable, we believe it is important that the rate (23%) of patients dying for Spinraza in an interim study (ENDEAR) and in other Spinraza studies is thus far materially higher than the rate (0%) of patients dying for AVXS-101 in its ongoing phase I study.”

“While we note that ENDEAR is placebo-controlled (n=72) and the AVXS-101 phase I study (n=15) is open label, we believe the natural history of SMA type 1 is sufficiently clear that the 0% rate of death for AVXS-101 patients, in a population group that is genotyped, suggests that AVXS-101 is a breakthrough therapy (as the probability of achieving AVXS-101’s results may be 1 in 7.5 billion) that doctors and parents will prefer for offering the potential for much lower rates of death than has been suggested so far with Spinraza,” Amusa concludes.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, Gbola Amusa is ranked #4,178 out of 4,291 analysts. Amusa has a 34% success rate and loses 13.8% in his yearly returns. However, when recommending AVXS, Amusa earns 21.2% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics indicate AVXS as a Strong Buy. Based on 5 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 4 rate a Buy on AVXS stock while 1 maintains a Hold. The 12-month average price target stands at $77.00, marking a 61% upside from where the stock is currently trading.

You can learn how to set up your own top-notch biotech portfolio here.