Leerink Positive on Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ARIA) Following ESMO Updates

On October 9th, Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA) presented a poster with accumulative updates from its Phase I/II trial results of investigational, targeted cancer drug brigatinib in anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) and non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) conference.

Following the conference, Leerink top analyst Michael Schmidt┬áremains bullish on the biotech firm’s prospects and therefore┬áreiterates an Outperform rating on shares of ARIA with a $20 price target, which represents just under a 41% increase from where the stock is currently trading.

“In addition, updates from other ALK inhibitors, including Roche’s alectinib and NVS’ (MP) ceritinib were presented which reaffirmed our thesis that brigatinib is a differentiated ALK inhibitor given its long PFS, strong CNS activity, and ability to inhibit most known ALK resistance mutations as differentiating, while QD dosing provides convenience advantages,” Schmidt notes.

The analyst believes Iclusig, designed as a treatment option for adults with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) or PH+ acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), will deliver with a consensus sales growth beat, “while Street expectations for the company’s pipeline products including brigatinib and AP32788 are low.”

Ultimately, Schmidt sees “underappreciated opportunity for brigatinib in ALK + NSCLC.”

As usual, we like to include the analyst’s track record when reporting on new analyst notes to give a perspective on the effect it has on stock performance. According to TipRanks, top five-star analyst Michael Schmidt has achieved a high ranking of #56 out of 4,183 analysts. Schmidt has a 62% success rate and gains 23.1% in his annual returns. However, when recommending ARIA, Schmidt loses 1.9% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics exhibit ARIA as a Buy. Based on 6 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 4 rate a Buy on ARIA, 1 maintains a Hold, while 1 issues a Sell. The 12-month price target stands at $12.25, marking a nearly 15% downside from where the shares last closed.

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