Cowen Optimistic on Sangamo Biosciences, Inc. (SGMO) Following 2Q:16 Results, Despite Recent Clinical Delays

Cowen analyst Ritu Baral was out with a favorable note on shares of Sangamo Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:SGMO), after the biotech company released second-quarter results and provided an update on its clinical development timelines. These results follow the appointment of a new CEO who is set to refocus near-term on the development of the company’s hemophilia A and B programs, and to delay and optimize its rare disease assets.

Baral wrote, “We note promising preclinical data were presented at the recent WFH conference in July showing strong expression of Factor VIII in both murine and non-human primate models. SGMO noted their FVIII gene therapy candidate has undergone substantial codon optimization and utilizes a liver-specific proprietary promoter.”

Until now, initiation of clinical development was expected for MPS I and II programs by sometime this year. However, due to non-critical delays in preclinical studies, there is now pushback until 2017. However, Baral notes these delays are not caused by issues of toxicology or safety, and management has indicated new studies are underway to completion. Likewise, the company also was upfront about another delay with its expected Investigational New Drug submission for BIIB-partnered b-thalassemia, a blood disorder that reduces the production of hemoglobin, and sickle cell disease programs. These programs also were anticipated to be ready this year and are similarly slated post-delay to circle in 2017.

Even in light of these delays, Baral remains encouraged, stating, “We think these delays reflect a new higher standard of operations and transparency from SGMO’s new management, and are encouraged by their thorough and honest approach.” Baral reiterates a Buy rating, confidently with her eyes peeled to the future, expressing, “We look forward to clinical data from several programs in 2017.” Initiation of several programs, including FVIII gene therapy candidate await initiation and development in 2017. Baral remains bullish on this clinical re-prioritization.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, four-star analyst Ritu Baral is ranked #538 out of 4,101 analysts. Baral has a 44% success rate and earns 5.4% in her average returns. However, when recommending SGMO, Baral loses 27.9% in profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics demonstrates Sangamo is a Buy. Based on 3 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 2 rate a Buy, while only 1 maintains a Hold.

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