Here’s Why Maxim Downgraded Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (MNTA) to Sell

Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNTA) shares are tumbling 4% today, with sales for its generic copaxone (glatopa), an injection designed to treat patients with relapsing and remitting forms of multiple sclerosis (RRMS), failing to impress or even come close to helping offset climbing, already steep operating expenses. Therefore, the path to profitability looks rather bleak as the biotech firm additionally faces a tough legal battle ahead as it must prepare to field patent obstacles from pharmaceutical rival AbbVie.

Maxim analyst Jason McCarthy does not like MNTA’s current odds and downgrades from a Hold to a Sell rating on shares of MNTA with a $6 price target, which represents a nearly 49% downside from where the stock is currently trading.

The analyst contends, “We always viewed Momenta as a company with state-of-the art technology to replicate drugs, either complex generics or biosimilars. However, like Teva did with Copaxone, AbbVie is pulling out all the patents for legal battles, delaying biosimilar launches, which we believe Momenta cannot circumvent (meaning long and expensive legal battles may be ahead). In our view, Momenta may have placed too much focus on developing a biosimilar based on efficacy (“biosimilarity”) and not enough focus on IP, which we believe ultimately pushes a biosimilar Humira launch out to 2022 or later.”

Ultimately, for McCarthy, “the race for biosimilar Humira could come down to IP,” a race that the firm might very well lose considering biosimilar rival player Coherus Biosciences (CHRS) already won IPR vs. AbbVie ‘135. Whereas Coherus wields the advantage of “patent-protected formulations that may not infringe on AbbVie ‘157 or ‘158, positioning a potential commercial launch in 2019, in our view,” McCarthy questions where Momenta can truly go from here.

As usual, we recommend taking analyst notes with a grain of salt. According to TipRanks, one-star analyst Jason McCarthy is ranked #3,318 out of 4,147 analysts. McCarthy has a 36% success rate and faces a loss of 1.4% in his yearly returns. However, when recommending MNTA, McCarthy earns 11.2% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics exhibit MNTA as a Hold. Based on 5 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 2 rate a Buy on MNTA, 1 maintains a Hold, while 2 issue a Sell. The 12-month average price target stands at $12.25, marking a 4% upside from where the shares last closed.Screen Shot 09-07-16 at 07.28 PM


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