Skip to content

Piper Sandler Remains On Sidelines For Biogen Shares

Sam Boughedda
Sam Boughedda trader
Updated 9 Jan 2023

Biogen (NASDAQ: BIIB) shares jumped Friday after it was announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had granted accelerated approval for the company and Eisai Co’s Alzheimer’s drug, Leqembi.

new-recommended-broker-banner

YOUR CAPITAL IS AT RISK. 81% OF RETAIL CFD ACCOUNTS LOSE MONEY.


Biogen shares closed 2.8% higher on the news, at $279.25, putting its performance over the last 12 months at +16.21%.

Top Broker Recommendation

YOUR CAPITAL IS AT RISK. 68% OF RETAIL CFD ACCOUNTS LOSE MONEY

The approval of lecanemab, which will be sold under the name Leqembi, follows clinical trial results published in November.

It was also revealed that Eisai is pricing the treatment at $26,500 annually in the US.

Reacting to the news late Friday, Piper Sandler analyst Christopher Raymond told investors in a note that there are no surprises in the label, including safety, and he believes the $26.5K per year pricing “makes sense.”

However, Raymond, who maintained a Neutral rating and $280 price target on Biogen shares, said his concerns remain. These include near-term doctor uptake, access issues, and “cumbersome” infusions every two weeks. In addition, the analyst said he is “concerned about its commercial success” and will “remain on the sidelines until such time as the commercial story becomes clearer.”

On the other hand, UBS analyst Colin Bristow provided a more upbeat tone, stating that the approval of Leqembi, the second disease-modifying therapy approved for Alzheimer’s disease via an accelerated pathway, came with an “essentially best-case scenario” label.

The analyst, who has a Buy rating and $338 price target on the stock, added that the approval came with a “clean label,” indicated and no exclusions or black-box warnings on concurrent use of anticoagulants or APOE4 genotypes, which had been a minor concern for some investors.

However, he did note that the pricing has come in higher than expected. Even so, the analyst believes that the news “is an important de-risking milestone but the nebulous timeline to reimbursement remains.”


YOUR CAPITAL IS AT RISK. 81% OF RETAIL CFD ACCOUNTS LOSE MONEY.


Sam Boughedda
Sam is a trader and lead stock market writer at AskTraders. After starting his career in the forex market, Sam now focuses on stocks, specifically consumer staples.