Spark Therapeutics (ONCE) Stock Tumbles on Disappointing Clinical Update in Hemophilia A, but This Analyst Remains Bullish

Spark Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ONCE) saw its shares crater by as much as 30% this morning on exceptionally high volume. The drop was triggered by safety concerns discovered in the Company’s Phase 1/2 trial of SPK-8011 in hemophilia A. Specifically, two patients had immune responses that caused FVIII levels to decline below 5%. While immune responses remain a concern, management plans to introduce prophylactic steroids to more readily address these potential occurrences at their instantiation prior to proliferation of lymphocytes.

Adding his two cents to the discussion is Cantor’s Elemer Piros: “While the occurrence of two immune responses leading to inadequate FVIII activity level add challenges for the program, we believe the company is well equipped to address them as the program moves to late-stage development. We expect hemophilia A to remain a focus for the company, but note several additional important catalysts remaining for the year.”

“Given Spark has shown data for over one year with plans to move into pivotal development, we have replaced our tech value for SPK-8001 with a hemophilia A market model in the U.S. and EU. We assume Spark will commercialize SPK-8001 on its own in the U.S. and receive 25% royalties, through a partnership in Europe. We ascribe a 25% probability of success for the program. We model $1.7 billion in sales for SPK-8011 in 2025,” the analyst added.

As such, Piros reiterates an Overweight rating on Spark Therapeutics stock, with a price target of $103, which implies an upside of 94% from current levels. (To watch Piros’ track record, click here)

Piros is not the only fan of this drug maker on Wall Street, as TipRanks analytics exhibit ONCE as a Strong Buy. Based on 11 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 9 rate a Buy on Spark’s stock while 2 maintain a Hold. The 12-month average price target stands at $85.40, marking a 57.5% upside from where the stock is currently trading.

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