Can This Small Biotech Be Saved By Developing Anemia Drug? | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Acceleron Pharma (XLRN) stock rebounded Tuesday afternoon after announcing Monday that it’s scrapping development of a kidney cancer drug, putting Wall Street focus squarely on a Celgene (CELG)-partnered rare disease drug.

By the closing bell on the stock market today, Acceleron stock popped 5% to 29.64, after earlier falling as much as 4.8% to a nearly two-week low. Shares bounded above their 50-day moving average in the afternoon.

Janney analyst Debjit Chattopadhyay called Acceleron’s kidney cancer drug dalantercept “a headline risk” that was unlikely to “deliver a win for Acceleron.” Late Monday, Acceleron said the drug failed to increase progression-free survival in patients with advanced kidney cancer.

Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges says dalantercept’s failure was largely expected given tepid views from Acceleron management. He cut his price target on Acceleron stock to 36 from 54, though remains outperform-rated. Chattopadhyay kept his 37 price target and buy rating.

Acceleron’s drug, luspatercept, is in trials with Celgene to treat anemia associated with a rare blood disorder and a group of blood cancers called myelodysplastic syndromes. The company is set to report data from two Phase 3 luspatercept trials in mid-2018.


IBD’S TAKE: Immuno-oncology drugmakers Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Incyte and Roche were among presenters at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting earlier this month in Chicago. Head to IBD Industry Themes for a breakdown of several key trials.


“These trials will be pivotal in unlocking the value of luspatercept and the stock towards our price target, and additional upside is possible from (myelodysplastic syndromes) label expansion opportunities,” Leerink’s Porges wrote in a note to clients.

Credit Suisse analyst Alethia Young, too, cut her price target on Acceleron stock to 35 from 46, though she has an outperform rating on shares. She models $2.1 billion in luspatercept sales in 2025 on an unadjusted…

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