Analyst Maintains Buy Rating, Despite Alnylam Pharmaceuticals’ (ALNY) Revusiran Failure

By Carrie Williams

Post Revusiran Failure, Jefferies maintain Buy for Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALNY)The biotech company Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALNY) has terminated the Phase 3 trial of its drug candidate Revusiran after encountering a safety issue last month. Consequently, ALNY became crowded with sellers resulting in the plummeting of its share price from $70.30 to $36.21 in a single day. The stock had then shed further to reach its 52-week low in October and has since then slowly recovered to reach the current price of $45.65.

After hosting an investor dinner with ALNY, Jefferies analyst Gena Wang maintained their Buy rating and $58 price target on the stock in a report released today. This PT is an upside of 27% from the current levels. Wang explained that management addressed safety concerns on several programs and indicated that revusiran discontinuation was likely program-specific, while ALN-AAT termination was due to RNAi sequence. Management is also continuing the additional analysis of revusiran Ph3 data and a high-level update is expected at R&D day with more meaningful data in early-17.

More than a decade old ALNY is yet to make a headway in its drug sale, in spite of having multiple programs in clinical development. Compounded by the overall bad year for biotech stocks, ALNY had plummeted by more than 57% in the past year. Alnylam had posted its Q3 numbers on November 2 and reported an EPS miss (-$1.21 vs. -$1.14) and revenue beat ($13.65 million vs. $9.14 million).

Nevertheless, the silver lining for ALNY seen by the management is the recent PCSK9 data and upcoming ASH data which are expected to further support the technology platform. Made in collaboration with The Medicines Company (MDCO), the cholesterol-lowering candidate inclisiran (PCSK9si) is an investigational GalNAc-conjugated RNAi therapeutic targeting PCSK9, a protein regulator of LDL receptor metabolism. So far, the phase 1 study results for Inclisiran was highly promising.

Other important programs of ALNY include the ALN-CC5, which is expected to achieve the benefits of drug sparing for both Soliris and 1210 and ALN-HBV for targeting all 4 transcripts of HBV. Management also continues to see significant opportunities in targeting liver.

The analysts’ overall rating consensus on ALNY is currently a Moderate Buy with an average price target of $66.82, according to TipRanks.com. The analysts’ PT is an upside of 46.37% from the current levels.