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Why AnaptysBio Trounced the Market on Thursday

By Eric Volkman - Updated Feb 11, 2021 at 7:06PM

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The biotech got a sharp upward shift in recommendation and target price from a prominent analyst.

What happened

AnaptysBio (ANAB 2.60%) rose by just over 11% on Thursday, as a high-profile bank has become more optimistic on the stock, to put it lightly.

So what

J.P. Morgan analyst Anupam Rama upgraded his recommendation on AnaptysBio stock. In his estimation, it's now overweight (i.e., buy), from the previous underweight (sell). The analyst also more than doubled his price target on the shares to $40; it was formerly $19.

Gloved and masked medical researchers using microscopes in their work.

Image source: Getty Images.

Rama is basing his enthusiasm on the company's upcoming official data release for its phase 2 clinical trial of imsidolimab. This drug aims to treat moderate to severe generalized palmoplantar pustulosis (GPP), a rare autoimmune disease that produces blisters on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet. There is currently no cure for the condition; only management therapies are available. 

Preliminary results published last year from the imsidolimab trial indicate that it was efficacious in reducing the blisters in affected patients -- six out of eight participants collectively saw 94% clearance by day 29 after being administered the drug.

Now what

The fortunes of biotech companies depend on the performance of their medications in clinical trials. Rama's new confidence in AnaptysBio is striking. If imsidolimab continues to perform as well as indicated, it has a clear path to regulatory approval and success as the only robust GPP drug on the market.

 

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