AveXis could be lifted by rival Spark Therapeutics' pricing scheme for gene therapy: RBC
Biotech AveXis Inc. (AVXS) could benefit, if indirectly, from payment arrangements set up by rival Spark Therapeutics Inc. (ONCE) for its $850,000-a-patient gene therapy Luxturna, RBC Capital Markets analyst Brian Abrahams said on Wednesday. AveXis, which is developing its AVXS-101 gene therapy as a one-time treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, saw shares decline 3.6% in heavy Wednesday trade. AVXS-101, if approved, could cost as much as $2 million per treatment, Abrahams said. The payment schemes set up by Spark, intended to make Luxturna's record-setting pricetag (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/spark-therapeutics-promising-gene-therapy-for-vision-loss-could-cost-1-million-2017-10-13) more palatable to health care payers, "helps set the stage for AVXS's '101 and other gene therapies," Abrahams said. "We note this strategy is in distinct contrast to what had taken place with other one-time treatments as in HCV, and believe that this more proactive approach is more likely to ensure the buy-in of key constituents (rather than generate a backlash)." Positive results from a phase 1 trial of AVXS-101 were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in November, and Abrahams said that the Food and Drug Administration might consider accelerated approval. Abrahams also raised his price target for AveXis from $97 to $99 on Wednesday, citing the success of Biogen's (BIIB) spinal muscular atrophy therapy Spinraza, among other factors. AveXis shares have surged 8.4% over the last three months, compared with a 6.9% rise in the S&P 500 and a 9.6% rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .
-Emma Court; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
01-03-18 1346ETCopyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.