Piper Jaffray Comments on Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc (IONS) Following Nusinersen NDA Filing

Today, Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:IONS) and Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) announced the completion of a rolling submission of New Drug Application (NDA) to the FDA for the approval of nusinersen in the treatment of infantile-onset spinal muscular atrophy.

Piper Jaffray analyst Joshua Schimmer commented, “With the Phase 3 ENDEAR study in infantileonset patients halted early for efficacy, we believe nusinersen is well positioned for rapid review and approval, perhaps even by the end of the year given the high unmet medical need. Partner BIIB expects to present data from the study at World Muscle Society taking place next week in Spain, but it’s unclear the extent of data/details which will be presented there. BIIB has also applied for Priority Review, which seems obvious considering the potential benefit of the drug.”

The analyst concludes, “This program continues to advance quickly, faster than many have expected. Timing of approval may mean nusinersen launch before AVXS starts its next P3 trial. In addition to the $75M from BIIB for assuming the development of the program, IONS is entitled to a double-digit royalty on W/W sales of nusinersen, which we believe will emerge as a multi-billion dollar product and thus represents a meaningful value driver for IONS.”

Schimmer reiterated an Overweight rating on shares of Ionis Pharmaceutical, with a price target of $46, which implies an upside of 32% from current levels.

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Joshua Schimmer has a yearly average return of -0.3% and a 47% success rate. Schimmer has a 22.5% average return when recommending IONS, and is ranked #3053 out of 4183 analysts.

Out of the 8 analysts polled by TipRanks (in the past 3 months), 3 rate Ionis Pharmaceuticals stock a Buy, 4 rate the stock a Hold and only 1 recommends a Sell. With a return potential of nearly 13%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $39.83.


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