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Sarepta Therapetics in 2017: Should Investors Be Interested?

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Sarepta Therapetics in 2017: Should Investors Be Interested? PART 1 OF 3

Analyst Ratings for Sarepta Therapeutics and Peers in 2017

Growth drivers

On September 19, 2016, Sarepta Therapeutics’ (SRPT) Exondys 51 got approval from the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration) as a therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (or DMD) in patients with a mutation in the dystrophin gene that is amenable to exon 51 skipping. The drug, which is administered to patients as a once-a-week intravenous infusion, targets about 13% of the total DMD patient population. However, since the accelerated approval of Exondys 51 is based on initial data related to an increase in dystrophin levels in the skeletal muscle of tested patients and not on evidence of clinical benefit, a continuation of the approval in this indication is contingent on results from confirmatory trials.

Although a rare disease, DMD is the most common type of muscular dystrophy, mainly afflicting children and mostly males. The disease is estimated to affect one of every 3,600 males on a global basis. Caused by the absence of the dystrophin protein that’s required for keeping muscle cells intact, DMD symptoms can first be seen in patients in the age group of three to five years. This progressively debilitating disease can finally result in fatal heart and lung conditions.

 

Analyst Ratings for Sarepta Therapeutics and Peers in 2017

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Through Exondys 51, Sarepta Therapeutics has focused on an underserved opportunity in this segment. The company is also working on other exon-skipping drug candidates in the DMD indication, using its RNA1-based therapeutics platform.

Sarepta Therapeutics makes up 2.3% of the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF’s (XBI) total portfolio holdings.

Analyst recommendations for Sarepta Therapeutics and peers

Of the 18 analysts covering Sarepta Therapeutics in October 2017, six have rated the stock a “strong buy,” ten have rated it a “buy,” and two have rated it a “hold.”

Of the eighteen analysts covering Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY) in October 2017, 67% of them have rated the company a “buy.” About 33.3% of the 15 analysts covering Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS) have given it a “buy” recommendation, while 83% of the analysts tracking Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND) have rated it a “buy.”

In the next part of this series, we’ll take a look at revenue growth projections for Sarepta Therapeutics for 2017.

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