Biotech Insights: Alcobra Ltd (ADHD), Biogen Inc (BIIB), Juno Therapeutics Inc (JUNO)


Alcobra Ltd 

Alcobra Ltd (NASDAQ:ADHD) lost half of its value today after announcing that the top-line results from MEASURE, the company’s second Phase 3 clinical trial for the investigational product Metadoxine Extended Release (MDX) for the treatment of ADHD in adult patients, did not meet the primary endpoint of demonstrating a statistically significant difference from placebo in the change from baseline of the investigator rating of the Conners’ Adult ADHD Rating Scales.

In reaction, Piper Jaffray analyst Charles Duncan slashed his price target for the stock to $1.50 (from $3.00), while reiterating a Neutral rating.

Duncan noted, “We’re not particularly surprised by this outcome as the truncated dataset greatly reduced the power of this trial to demonstrate a significant impact on the CAARS. Alcobra now plans to use its ~$50M in cash to execute on a new business plan, the details of which should become available during 1Q17. We expect this could involve development of MDX in ex-US markets, or of new candidates from the company’s internal pipeline or in-licensing efforts. Given the prolonged timelines to next clinical data and first revenues, as well as increased execution risk we see for this team, we are reducing our PT from $3 to $1.50, or roughly equivalent to cash/share. In advance of more details on a plan forward, we reiterate N.”

Biogen Inc

Stifel analyst Thomas Shrader is out today with a few insights on Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) after the drug maker announced that it has agreed to enter into a settlement and license agreement with Forward Pharma, subject to the approval of Forward Pharma’s shareholders and other customary conditions. The license agreement will provide Biogen an irrevocable license to all intellectual property owned by Forward Pharma. The analyst rates BIIB a Hold with a price target of $298.

Shrader wrote, “We value Biogen based on sales in 2018 so this deal does not change our target price of $298. However, this deal puts much of the patent noise around Tecfidera to bed. However, the looming approval of Ocrelizumab is still a negative for the Tecfidera franchise as is the potential for a generic Gilenya. These were likely factors in the deal that looks slightly less positive for Forward than we originally expected. However, given the uncertainty in the interference case and the subsequent appeals, our legal KOLs had suggested that settlement was a good path forward for Forward. Likewise, with Spinraza now approved and the Aducanumab Phase III program underway, getting eyes off Tecfidera is likely a good turn for Biogen.”

Juno Therapeutics Inc

FBR’s Edward White weighs in on Juno Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:JUNO) after meeting with management to discuss the company outlook and pipeline goals for 2017.

White noted, “The human CD19 trial as well as the combination trial evaluating JCAR014 and durvalumab have been initiated. We expect the CD19/4-1BBL “armored” CAR trial in B-cell malignancies to begin soon. Moving beyond CD19, the Phase I Lewis Y trial in lung cancer is now open. Juno plans to expand its franchise into multiple myeloma, with a BCMA CAR to enter the clinic in 1H17. In respect to solid tumors, Juno has five solid organ tumor targets in human testing, with additional targets in the pipeline. Currently ongoing trials include ROR-1, MUC-16/IL-12, L1CAM, WT-1, and Lewis Y. We expect to see data in solid organ tumors from some of these trials this year. The IL-13 zeta trial in glioblastoma is projected to begin in 2017, and the HPV e6/e7 oncoproteins trial in HPV-associated cancers could start in 2017/2018.”

Juno shares are currently trading at $19.08, down $0.92 or -4.60%.