Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ACHN) is a biopharmaceutical firm that researches, develops, and sells treatments and cures for infectious diseases. As of late, ACHN has become more interested in developing antiviral as a relief and cure for patients infected with Hepatitis C Virus.
ACHN is also into the development of antibacterials for the treatment of resistant bacterial infections. The big news for ACHN as of late really focuses in on their work in the Hepatitis C department, and how one of their new drugs is progressing.
ACH-3102 is a Hepatitis C drug that is being developed by ACHN. According to Reuters, it has very recently shown promise in the mid-stage trials, and patients who have been treated with it have not exhibited any levels of the virus after four weeks. This news alerted investors and traders, as the stock shares were up 6% or at around $9.80 during the pre market hours.
This did not last too long however, as traders and short term investors slowly started dumping their shares to lock in profits. Currently the stock is still up, and there may still be some steam left in the tank for this stock to soar higher.
Deutsche Bank Upgrades ACHN to “Buy”
As of August 18th, Deutsche Bank’s Alethia Young determined a price target of $17.00, and upgraded the rating from a “neutral” to a “buy”. According to Street Insider, Deutsche Bank has estimated that the Hepatitis C Virus treatment will cost around 5% less than GILD’s Sovaldi treatment (read Time to Buy GILD?).
Deutsche Bank analysts were concerned with clinical and management execution, but the Alethia Young believes that the execution has drastically improved thanks to Pharmasset’s Chief Medical Officer David Apelian, and his team, who were moved to ACHN.
ACHN skyrocketed last Friday, as the stock rose by nearly 10%, which was mostly due to the sheer volume of traded shares, however, the stock has continued to rise over the past month by about 39.1%. ACHN maintains a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), along with an 11.11% EPS surprise last quarter, with an average surprise rate of 16.64% over the past year, so the company is definitely looking good from an earnings perspective as well.
Additionally, a few estimates have moved higher for ACHN in the past week, so the company is arguably moving in the right direction now. The stock may have the potential to keep moving higher, provided that its HCV treatment performs well on the final stage testing.
While we currently have ACHN as a buy, there are plenty of other securities in the space to consider as the biotech industry has an Industry Rank in the top 33%. Two such options to consider here are Gilead Sciences (GILD) or Cambrex (CBM) as both of these have top Zacks Ranks at time of writing.
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