Mizuho analyst Irina Rivkind Koffler chimes in on Allergan plc Ordinary Shares (NYSE:AGN) on back of key competitor Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (NSE:SUNPHARMA) announcing positive top-line Phase III data for its dry eye drug, Seciera, a direct rival of AGN’s Xiidra.

Koffler nonetheless is staunchly bullish on the biotech firm and provides insight on the competitive landscape, asserting, “We spoke with Auven Therapeutics, the prior owners of this asset at the American Academy of Ophthalmology conference in October and at that time it was believed that a 2017 NDA submission was likely. The Seciera formulation reportedly does not infringe on the Restasis patent estate, so a 2018 launch for this drug may introduce another viable dry eye alternative, albeit from a smaller competitive entrant.”

The analyst remains unconcerned by the competition, underscoring measures by AGN to combat threats to its market share. “A possible differentiating characteristic for Seciera may be its rapid onset of action, according to the Sun Pharma press release. We note that Allergan has launched its multidose, preservative-free formulation of Restasis in late November but switching from the older vial has been minimal to date during the holiday season,” Koffler surmises.

Therefore, ahead of 2017 guidance, the analyst reiterates a Buy rating on AGN with a price target of $273, which represents a just under 24% upside from where the stock is currently trading.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, five-star analyst Irina Rivkind Koffler is ranked #120 out of 4,369 analysts. Koffler has a 48% success rate and realizes 15.1% in her yearly returns. However, when recommending AGN, Koffler has an average loss of 10.4% on the stock.

TipRanks Analytics rates AGN as a Strong Buy. In the last 3 months 16 analysts where polled, 13 rate a Buy on AGN stock while 3 maintain a Hold. The consensus price target stands at $271.54, which represents an upside of nearly 23% from where the shares last closed.

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