UPDATE: MLV Reiterates Buy on Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc on Back of Orphan Designation

In a research report issued today, MLV analyst Arlinda Lee maintained a Buy rating on Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AGIO) with a price target of $130, following the news that the FDA has granted orphan designation for the company's AG-348 to treat hemolytic anemia caused by pyruvate kinase deficiency (PKD).

Lee observed, "We infer from the orphan designation that AGIO's development of AG-348 is proceeding on schedule and that AGIO is constructively engaged with FDA. Orphan drug designation incentivizes development of therapeutics for rare diseases that affect less than 200,000 people annually in the United States. Specifically, orphan drugs receive tax credits for qualified clinical testing, prescription drug user fee waivers, and up to seven years of marketing exclusivity in the designated indication. Given the severely disabling nature of the disease and that the alternative of life-long blood transfusions has such undesirable side effects, we anticipate AGIO will be able to charge premium pricing for AG-348."

Bottom line, "We view this program as a proof-of-concept to validate AGIO’s approach of melding metabolomics and genomics to identify therapies for rare metabolic diseases. We view orphan designation as a positive for AG-348 and reiterate our BUY rating."

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts' and bloggers' success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Arlinda Lee has a total average return of 7.8% and a 56.1% success rate. Lee has a -6.3% average return when recommending AGIO, and is ranked #1053 out of 3546 analysts.


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