Ariad trades lower after AP26113 news despite Oppenheimer upgrade

|By:, SA News Editor

AP26113 is "a much stronger contender than Novartis' (NVS -0.3%) LDK378, given the cleaner safety profile, and [we] anticipate meaningful uptake in the crizotinib-refractory setting," Oppenheimer's David Ferreiro says, referring to Ariad's (ARIA -3.6%) tyrosine kinase inhibitor and its prospects in ALK+ non-small cell lung cancer.

Ferreiro is also upbeat on Iclusig in CML, saying he believes the drug "will acheive significant adoption in the first-line setting, despite Gleevec genericization."

ARIA upgraded to Outperform from Perform, although the target is raised just $1 to $24 — remember, Ferreiro thinks positive AP26113 data is already factored into the stock's price.

Nevertheless, the stock is weak at the open. It's possible investors are reacting negatively to the following line in the company's ESMO PR: "In three out of 26 patients receiving 180 mg per day of AP26113 in the Phase 2 portion of the trial, early-onset pulmonary symptoms were observed after the first dose of AP26113."