Leerink Swann Slashes Price Target for Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc (IONS); Here’s Why

On Wednesday, Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:IONS) hosted an R&D day in NYC, where it framed the antisense/IONS vs RNAi debate particularly as it pertains to the TTR amyloidosis program, and highlighted the outlook for the next-generation lica and Generation 2.5 chemistry.

Following the event, Leerink Swann analyst Michael Schmidt weighed in on the stock, reiterating a Market Perform rating, while slashing the price target to $26 (from $39), which implies an upside of 6% from current levels.

Schmidt explained, “Given GSK’s (MP) recent decision not to initiate a second planned Ph III trial in hATTR due to safety concerns we believe IONS shares will continue to reflect an overhang until placebo-controlled NEURO-TTR results are available in 1H17. Our updated PT of $26 (from $39) reflects reduced expectations for IONS-TTR-Rx based on GSK’s prior announcement (LINK), as well as a higher discount rate to reflect a higher level of platform risk.”

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Michael Schmidt has a yearly average return of 5.0% and a 53.9% success rate. Schmidt has a average return when recommending IONS, and is ranked #732 out of 4060 analysts.

Out of the 9 analysts polled by TipRanks, 3 rate Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. stock a Buy, 5 rate the stock a Hold and 1 recommends Sell. With a return potential of 42.2%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $34.86.

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