This Bull Is Sticking By Spark Therapeutics Inc (ONCE) and Its Novel Gene Therapy Platform Despite Underwhelming Hemophilia A Update


Spark Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ONCE) shares are falling almost 34% following the drug maker’s Hemophilia A gene therapy update at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) conference that left a massively disillusioned Wall Street in its wake.

Considering today’s stark pullback in the market coupled with the gene therapy platform that continues to be “novel” and demonstrate “progress on multiple fronts,” J.P. Morgan analyst Cory Kasimov may be disappointed in ONCE, but he is not fleeing the bullish camp just yet.

As such, the analyst reiterates an Overweight rating on ONCE stock with a $92 price target, which implies a close to 89% upside from current levels. (To watch Kasimov’s track record, click here)

Though Kasimov anticipates it will take an impressive update to win back the favor of the Street, he contends: “Though admittedly early, we were quite underwhelmed by the results from ONCE’s update for SPK-8011 in Hemophilia A presented this morning at ASH (significant variability and lack of consistency in factor expression levels). We’ve argued in the past that gene therapy for hemophilia should not be considered a zero sum game, but this update clearly places BMRN in an even stronger leadership position (especially post encouraging longer-term follow-up from its own program this weekend; […]). More patients, higher doses, and longer duration of follow-up will obviously be necessary to more clearly elucidate SPK-8011’s potential. With that said, following these mixed results, we suspect it will take much more substantial and compelling subsequent updates for investors to assign meaningful credit to this program.”

TipRanks shows a lot of bulls are likely to be smarting from the stock’s plummet today, as out of 12 analysts polled in the last 3 months, there is a unanimously bullish analyst consensus on ONCE’s opportunity at play. With a solid return potential of 101%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $96.45.

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