Piper Jaffray Turns Cautious On Isis Pharmaceuticals


In a research report published Wednesday, Piper Jaffray analyst Joshua Schimmer downgraded shares of Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ISIS) to Neutral, and reduced the price target to $68 (from $81), which still implies an upside of 14% from current levels

Schimmer explained, “The biotech tape continues to show signs of waning frothiness, and we believe this along with a shifting development strategy for APOCIII and ongoing evolution of the platform may weigh on ISIS for the rest of the year. While there may be some positive datapoints along the way for ISIS’ early/mid stage programs, we doubt they will move the needle adequately to offset a mid-cap valuation pullback that many investors are now expecting. Additionally, the current valuation already reflects meaningful commercial success embedded across multiple products.”

The analyst continued, “As ISIS continues to advance its antisense programs at the same time as optimizing the platform, it’s left with a pipeline representing a mix of old/new/newer constructs and a story which keeps changing as the technology evolves. The new Lica conjugate technology seems to be a focal point for the company, so much so that it may be leading to a shift in timelines for its most attractive program (in our view) targeting ApoCIII for elevated triglycerides.”