What Analysts Are Saying About Biotech Stocks Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. And ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc.


Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN) shares are rising about 25% in Wednesday’s trading session, after the drug maker released interim phase II data from oral complement factor D (CFD) inhibitor, ACH-4471, for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH).

While the company said four patients were responding well to the drug, Chardan analyst Madhu Kumar remains skeptical. The analyst reiterates a Neutral rating on Achillion shares, while reducing the price target to $4.00 (from $5.00), which implies a downside of 23% from current levels. (To watch Kumar’s track record, click here)

Kumar explained, “ACH-4471’s phase II effect on LDH is inferior to both Soliris and ALXN1210 […] we believe the data presented from the first four phase II patients does not provide clear support for ACH-4471’s competitive profile in PNH […] long-term clinical data for Soliris from Alexion Pharmaceuticals shows stable LDH suppression down to the ULN. Moreover, data from the phase I/II trial of ALXN1210, Alexion’s current phase III asset in PNH, presented at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) 2016 Annual Meeting showed ALXN1210 achieved LDH suppression down to 1.5 x ULN in 10/11 patients.”

“To this end, ACH-4471 achieving 1.5 x ULN LDH suppression in only 1/4 patients is, to us, demonstrably inferior relative to Soliris and ALXN1210. In particular, we would emphasize that suppression of LDH below 1.5 x ULN is not just arbitrary but is clinically meaningful, as this level of LDH suppression in PNH is associated with reduced risk of both thromboembolism (blood clot formation) and mortality. In total, we have conviction that ACH-4471’s interim phase II results demonstrate the oral CFD inhibitor to be non-competitive with Alexion’s approved and late-stage assets in PNH,” the analyst continued.

Out of the 9 analysts polled in the past 12 months, 6 rate Achillion stock a Buy, 2 rate the stock a Hold and 1 recommends a Sell. With a return potential of 26%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $6.56.

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc.

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ACAD) shares are soaring nearly 16%, as of this writing, after the company reported a second-quarter beat for its PDP drug Nuplazid with sales of $30.5 million, compared to consensus estimates of $20 million. In addition, ACADIA provided 2017 revenue guidance of $105-115 million, well above consensus estimates of $91 million.

In reaction, H.C. Wainwright analyst Andrew Fein reiterated a Buy rating on ACAD with a price target of $60.00, which implies an upside of 73% from current levels. (To watch Fein’s track record, click here)

Fein commented, “Acadia now has, in our view, enough real-world data to assess trends and metrics for guiding Nuplazid’s commercial efforts and helping to shape Street expectations. To that end, we remind investors of our 100-physician survey from July’16, which indicated a larger market opportunity and more bullish physician attitude (amongst neurologists, psychiatrists, LTC specialists) to prescribing Nuplazid than we had modeled at the time, and we believe, than Street consensus at the time. According to our survey, 45% of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients experience psychosis with 70% of these patients deemed severe enough to require pharmacological intervention – which aligns well with Nuplazid’s aboveexpected numbers. Overall, we remain optimistic on Nuplazid’s revenue potential, and we believe the program carries long-term value both to investors and potentially as an acquisition.”

Most of the analysts covering ACAD are bullish on the company’s stock. A total of 10 analysts currently provide ratings; 8 of them suggest a Buy rating, while 2 recommend a Hold. The 12-month consensus mean price target for the stock is $42.13, reflecting a 21% upside over yesterday’s closing price.