Company

Bank

Analyst

Coverage

Opinion

Wk chg

12/13 cls

Ambit Biosciences Corp. (NASDAQ:AMBI)

BMO Capital Markets

Jim Birchenough

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Outperform (from market perform)

20%

$9.66

Birchenough also raised his target to $14 from $10, saying Ambit reached an "earlier-than-expected" agreement with FDA on the dosing regimen for a Phase III trial evaluating quizartinib to treat acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). According to Birchenough, patients will initially receive quizartinib once daily at 30 mg, and escalate to 60 mg once-daily at day 16 if there is no increase in QTc interval or at day 30 if there is no response. The company plans to start the trial early next year. The product is an oral small molecule FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3; CD135) inhibitor.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA)

Stifel Nicolaus

Joel Sendek

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Buy (from hold)

-2%

$3.98

Sendek also set a $7 target based on discussions with physicians showing "overwhelming support" for using Ariad's leukemia drug Iclusig ponatinib as a third-line treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). In October, Ariad temporarily suspended U.S. marketing and distribution of Iclusig at FDA's request due to the risk of arterial thrombotic events. Sendek believes the company will resume U.S. marketing for Iclusig in 2Q14 as a salvage therapy with a black box warning indicating the increased risk of cardiovascular events. He increased his worldwide sales estimates to $120M from $76.4M in 2014 and to $235M from $118M in 2015.