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Friday’s Market Insights: Akari Therapeutics PLC (ADR) (AKTX), Acorda Therapeutics Inc (ACOR), BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY)

Akari Therapeutics PLC (ADR) (NASDAQ:AKTX) shares skyrocketed over 40% in Friday’s trading session, after the company announced that the FDA has designated as a Fast Track development program the investigation of Coversin, Akari’s treatment for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) in patients who have polymorphisms conferring eculizumab resistance.

CEO Gur Roshwalb commented, “We are very proud of the continued advancement of our Coversin program for the treatment of PNH in patients with or without polymorphisms […] The FDA fast track designation recognizes the unmet need in patients with PNH who cannot be treated with the current standard of care due to polymorphisms.”

Canaccord analyst Arlinda Lee recently noted, “The Dutch paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) patient with the C5 polymorphism continues to demonstrate once-daily, self-administered, subcutaneous (SC) C5 inhibitor Coversin is safe and maintains LDH levels below the clinically meaningful threshold at ~9 months. The ongoing Ph2 trial is on track to deliver data from ~5 PNH patients in 1Q, as are Ph2 trial initiations in atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) and Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS). We continue to expect results from the handful of Ph2 PNH patients to largely recapitulate the experience of the single Dutch patient and reiterate our BUY.”

Acorda Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ACOR) saw its shares falling over 20% Friday, following the news that the U.S. District Court has upheld Ampyra’s ‘938 patent expiring in July 2018, but invalidated its 4 long-dated patents.

CEO Ron Cohen commented, “We are disappointed by the Court’s decision and are preparing our appeal […] Medical innovation depends on the recognition of valid intellectual property claims. We believe that we demonstrated novel and unexpected findings in our AMPYRA development program that led to the issuance of valid patents.”

Cowen analyst Phil Nadeau noted, “Acorda’s patents had been challenged by 10 ANDA filers, and we believe 8 of the 10 challenged the patents on the same day and share co-first-to-file status. Though ACOR had settled with 7 of the filers and only 3 remained in the District Court case, we believe all 8 “first-to-file” challengers will be able to launch once the ‘938 patent expires. Therefore we expect a number of generics, perhaps all 8, to launch in July 2018, and that Ampyra’s sales will decline precipitously. Though it is possible that ACOR could prevail in its appeal, we have assumed that it does not, and that the generics remain on the market.” As such, the analyst reduced his price target for ACOR from $60 to $35, while reiterating an Outperform rating.

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) shares rose 12% today, after the Canadian smartphone maker reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings as operating costs nearly halved, and the company’s shift to the higher-margin software business (mobile device management products and QNX industrial operating system) paid off. GAAP loss of $47 million improved sequentially from a loss of $117 million, on non-GAAP revenue of $297 million.

CEO John Chen noted, “In our areas of strategic focus, we are executing well and gaining traction. In our enterprise business, we had one of our best-ever software billings quarters, driven by strength across regulated and non- regulated industries […] We are entering the next phase in sub-licensing our secure software to a variety of new mobile endpoints. […] Looking ahead to fiscal 2018, we expect to grow at or above the overall market in our software business. We also expect to be profitable on a non-GAAP basis and to generate positive free cash flow for the full year.”

Out of the four analysts polled by TipRanks (in the past 3 months), three rate BlackBerry stock a Hold, and one rates the stock a Buy. With a downside  potential of 4%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $7.50.


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