Shares of Aimmune Therapeutics (AIMT), a company developing a peanut desensitization therapy, jumped 12% on Wednesday after an analyst shared the results of an informal survey. It looks like the company's lead candidate, Palforzia, could exceed expectations if the Food and Drug Administration follows advice from an independent advisory meeting in September.
Food allergies affect between 4% and 8% of children, and 1% to 2% of adults. The concept behind desensitization therapy isn't anything new, but Palforzia could become the first FDA-approved desensitization treatment with clinical trial data to back up its claims.
The stock popped today because a survey of allergists by Piper Jaffray's Christopher Raymond was overwhelmingly positive. Out of 45 allergists polled, 44 said they'd probably prescribe Palforzia if approved by the FDA.
Raymond thinks an approval for pediatric patients alone can push Palforzia sales to $1.1 billion next year, and $1.9 billion in 2021. That's a mighty optimistic expectation for an independent drug launch, no matter how strong demand might be.
Without another available option, Aimmune's desensitization therapy does have blockbuster potential written all over it, which makes this biotech stock look like a buy at recent prices. Unless there's some unexpected delay to Palforzia's ongoing FDA review, Aimmune's recent $1.4 billion market cap could swell to several times its size over the next 12 months.