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Barry Cohen
Barry Cohen
Articles (108) 

Analysts Forecast Huge Upsides for Aimmune, Biohaven

Optimism surrounds these companies’ launch of drugs in 2020

February 04, 2020 | About:

Of the ten most anticipated drug launches expected this year, two will have the biggest impact on the top line—and possibly the share price--of the companies introducing them.

Aimmune Therapeutics

Heading the list of biggest potential beneficiaries is Aimmune Therapeutics, Inc. (AIMT), whose new drug Palforzia is expected to generate nearly $1.3 billion in sales by 2024. This is a significant development considering that this San Francisco-based biotech has never had a major source of sales revenue.

Palforzia is a food allergy treatment, a field most pharmaceutical companies steer clear of. The drug is a peanut allergy therapy that desensitizes patients through gradual doses of protein from the legume, and it received FDA approval last week.

According to a U.S. government report, peanut allergy is the second most common food allergy in children and is on the rise. It occurs in about one in 50 children and one in 200 adults. The peanut is the mostly likely food in the country to cause anaphylaxis and death. It’s estimated that one of out of every 200 people who experience the severe allergic reaction die from it.

In a note to investors in March 2019, Credit Suisse analyst Vamil Divan, M.D. said physicians were largely positive on the clinical need for Palforzia, but he had some concerns about the treatment’s potential.

"We believe there are more investor questions on the commercial opportunity for the product given the need for frequent office visits and GI (gastrointestinal) side effects during the up-dosing period," Divan wrote. "However, we see significant interest in the product from physicians and patients/parents, a side effect profile that appears manageable and a commercial opportunity that can be addressed through a targeted sales force."

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Aimmunne currently trades at about $33, near the top of its 52-week range. However, Wall Street analysts thinks there’s plenty of money to be made on the stock, with 11 of them offering 12-month price forecasts set a median target price of $50.

Biohaven Pharmaceutical

Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd. (BHVN) also plans to introduce a drug this year that will enable it to record its first sales.

The New Haven, Connecticut-based company's rimegepant treatment for migraines could generate an estimated $900 million in sales by 2024. There are already three approved drugs to treat migraines—Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and Novartis’ (NYSE:NVS) Aimovig, Teva’s (NYSE:TEVA) Ajovy and Eli Lilly’s (NYSE:LLY) Emgality. But that doesn’t mean Biohaven is late to the party. Rimegepant’s big advantage is that it is taken by mouth, unlike the other three, which are injectables.

Even so, can tiny Biohaven compete with the above-named competitors? Company CEO Dr. Vlad Coric is confident that it can. He plans to make the company’s first commercial product a success by being more efficient and innovative.

At about $49 per share, Biohaven trades a few dollars below the middle of its 52-week range. Analysts think the stock also has tremendous upside too, providing 12-month price forecasts with a median target of $77.50.

Disclosure: The author holds positions in Amgen and Eli Lilly.

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About the author:

Barry Cohen
Barry Cohen has nearly 40 years experience in communications and marketing, the majority in senior positions at large international health care companies, including Abbott Laboratories and Bayer Inc.

He has contributed to a number of financial websites, writing primarily about the stocks of health care companies.

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