Bear Stearns is out with a major call on Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) saying that after years of mystery and intrigue, they think the answer is upon us: CERA, indeed, appears to be just PEG-EPO, according to new court documents filed late Friday.
Firm thinks this means AMGN's probability of winning its patent infringement case has increased dramatically. If the market fully digests this development, they believe AMGN shares could trade up sharply today. As a reminder, when the firm upgraded the stock ~2 weeks ago, they suggested fair value could exceed $90 if CERA does not launch.
In the documents, CERA is decribed as having the same "amino acid sequence and composition" as epoetin beta. In Bear's opinion, if CERA does have the exact sequence as EPO, it is more likely to infringe Amgen's manufacturing patents & composition patents. The documents also notes that CERA has an "identical amino acid sequence and composition of the carbohydrage moiety". In firm's opinion, it will be difficult for Roche to argue that CERA's backbone falls outside the scope of Amgen's patents on Epo and believe Amgen will be able to argue CERA infringe's its patents.
Reits Outperform on AMGN.
Notablecalls: Actionable call alert. CERA has been considered a major threat for AMGN's EPO line meaning that if Bear is right the stock will go vertical today. I expect to see a sizable move in AMGN today. I would not be surprised to see the stock challenge recent highs.
AMGN 1-yr chart: