Alzheimer’s research program
On July 25, Biogen (BIIB) and Eisai announced positive results from the Phase 2 study evaluating BAN2401, an investigational anti-amyloid-beta (or Aβ) protofibril antibody, in early Alzheimer’s disease (or AD) indication after 18 months of therapy. The patients also included those suffering from AD-related mild cognitive impairment as well as those with mild AD.
The results from the Phase 2 trial seem to validate beta-amyloid as a potential target for treating Alzheimer’s disease. The trial, however, failed to meet its primary endpoint based on Bayesian statistical analysis after 12 months of therapy.
In addition to BAN2401, Biogen, in collaboration with Eisai, is also evaluating aducanumab, an anti-Aβ monoclonal antibody, for AD in ongoing Phase 3 trials ENGAGE and EMERGE, which are fully enrolled. In the Phase 1b PRIME trial, the drug has demonstrated a reduction in the rate of cognitive decline as well as the removal of amyloid plaque burden in patients suffering from prodromal or mild AD.
On May 1, Biogen exercised the option and reduced the royalty rate payable to Neurimmune as part of the licensing agreement for aducanumab.
Analyst recommendations for Biogen
Of the 30 analysts covering Biogen in August, nine have recommended a “strong buy” for the stock, and 12 have recommended a “buy.” Nine have recommended a “hold.” Wall Street analysts have projected the 12-month consensus target price for Biogen at $389.31, which would be an increase of ~14.3% over the closing price on August 15.
Analyst recommendations for peers
Of the 23 analysts covering Amgen (AMGN) in August, 47.8% have recommended a “buy” for the stock. Of the 27 analysts covering Celgene (CELG), 55.6% have recommended a “buy.” Of the 27 analysts tracking Gilead Sciences (GILD), 63% have recommended a “buy.”
In the next part of this series, we’ll look at the revenue growth prospects for Biogen.