Evercore Comments on Axovant Sciences Ltd (AXON) Following Competitor’s Drug Setback

Axovant Sciences Ltd (NYSE:AXON) shares are falling nearly 12% following the news that Lundbeck’s experimental Alzheimer’s drug Idalopirdine failed in a late-stage study. Idalopirdine is the main competitor to AXON’s intepirdine (RVT-101). Both are 5HT-6/5HT-2a receptor blockers which enhance the release of acetylcholine in the brains of AD patients.

Evercore analyst Mark Schoenebaum commented, “While optically not reassuring for the mechanism of action, today’s failure is perhaps not unexpected given the suboptimal idalopirdine dose used, and thus arguably the negative read-through to AXON’s ongoing study is limited.”

“We spoke to AXON mgmt., who said their confidence is not swayed in light of today’s data, and noted that AXON’s ph3 trial (AXON’s data are expected in 2017) is designed similarly to their successful p2 trial, including using the same efficacious dose (30mg). Recall that we hosted an investor lunch on 8/4 at which mgmt. were asked to opine on the POS of Lunbeck’s p3 trials: they shared the same opinion,” the analyst continued.

Schoenebaum rates AXON stock a Buy, with a price target of $29, which implies an upside of 89% from current levels.

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Mark Schoenebaum has a yearly average return of 13.7% and a 75% success rate. Schoenebaum is ranked #917 out of 4175 analysts.

Out of the 7 analysts polled by TipRanks, 6 rate AXON stock a Buy, while 1 rates the stock a Sell. With a return potential of 64%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $25.20.

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