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Ionis Pharmaceuticals: Mid-Sized Pharma Is A Strong Buy Opportunity For All-Comers


  • Ionis Pharmaceuticals is a pioneering drug developer with a focus on antisense technology.
  • The company has successfully developed four commercially approved drugs for various diseases.
  • Ionis has a strong pipeline of late-stage candidates, including Eplontersen, Olezarsen, and Donidalorsen, with the potential for significant market opportunities.
  • Ionis counts major Pharmas such as AstraZeneca, GSK, and Biogen and could earn >$20bn from milestone payments alone.
  • By 2027, Ionis may well have secured >10 new drug approvals, and revenues ought to be pushing several billion per annum. With many of the usual drug development risks mitigated, shares, therefore, look significantly undervalued.

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Klaus Vedfelt

Investment Overview - Ionis Remains An Antisense Pioneer 30 Years After Founding

Ionis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IONS) may be a 30-year old company but it remains a pioneering drug developer with a unique focus on antisense technology, which has produced 4 commercially

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This article was written by

Edmund Ingham profile picture

Edmund Ingham is a biotech consultant. He has been covering biotech, healthcare, and pharma for over 5 years, and has put together detailed reports of over 1,000 companies. He leads the investing group Haggerston BioHealth.

The group is for both novice and experienced biotech investors. It provides catalysts to look out for and buy and sell ratings. It also provides product sales and forecasts for all the Big Pharmas, forecasting, integrated financial statements, discounted cash flow analysis and market by market analysis. Learn more.

Analyst’s Disclosure: I/we have no stock, option or similar derivative position in any of the companies mentioned, but may initiate a beneficial Long position through a purchase of the stock, or the purchase of call options or similar derivatives in IONS over the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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Comments (27)

The market is thinking approval later this month. FCF for 2024 will jump. Many options. Low share count.
@singlemalt 18 for those that don't twitter...anything of interest?
@Lobeta The link should still work for anyone I think?

"In dramatic fashion $IONS poised to finally close above $50 on a Friday close beginning the final month of trading for the year, taking 2.75 years to close the gap down from March of 2021.Miracles can happen."

...but you need X to see the popping champagne gif.
@singlemalt 18 Thanks....I got a page requiring a login to X.
There a lot of value in IONS and market is waking to it!
Money watchman profile picture
So they do a deal and the stock drops. They report less than expected earnings and as I write this sp is up 8%. Why?
AZ will not be asleep at the switch! There is $$$ in those drugs!
Eplontersen must be coming soon. The name on the pipeline page has been changed to Wainua(tm). First time I remember seeing a name change before FDA approval.
@Bio Investor 22 Looks like they changed it back to Eplontersen.
BIIB80 News next week at CTAD - From Biogen PR - Late-breaking oral presentation: Exploratory clinical outcomes from BIIB080 (MAPT ASO) Phase 1b multiple ascending dose and long-term extension study in mild Alzheimer’s disease: Wednesday, October 25, 10:50 a.m.
Earnings out 2 November! Focus on Phase III drugs moving forward!
Edmund, this firm has had 35 years of dog-n-pony R&D shows, countless drug cancellations and nothing but operating losses. Find a winner!
IONIS cash position is huge coming into expected approval. 2024 provides management with opportunities to become shareholder friendly!
Just in case you weren't paying attention to stock movement, Ionis hit a new 52 week high yesterday. With a bunch of things coming soon, including Eplontersen, here's hoping we keep setting a bunch more new highs.
Per Brett M (on MS call), Eplontersen has been submitted to Health Canada.
Investor/ Analyst day 4 October!
AGT data to be presented at American Heart Association meeting on November 12. www.abstractsonline.com/...
The author certainly did a deep dive, and there is a lot of data provided; kudos to his DD.

I cringe however at the "shots on goal" rationale for this perennial looser of a stock.

I'd feel more optimistic reviving the "coiled spring" metaphor.
Is the market taking interest in IONIS? Not far from 52 week high.
@rockjcp More like 20% off of 52 week high.
Thanks Edmund. A couple of points.

You stated that "Both AstraZeneca and Ionis are very confident that their candidate will be able to take market share away from AMVUTTRA". I guess you are assuming that Alnylam has 100% of the market but Ionis keeps saying that 80% of the market is still untouched. So why not go after those patients not on any drug yet? And with AZ's ROW connections, there is a good chance that Eplontersen will rule that market.

Also I'm hoping that as Ionis revenues increase the market will look favorably at their value as they did with Alnylam. I mean really. $25B vs $5.6B on similar revenues? I guess we'll see as things move forward.
Concur and things could heat up quick as December approaches. IONS is flush with Cash !
Price Holland profile picture
"....and market cap valuation of ~$5.6bn, which will surely increase if Alnylam achieves e.g. 75% of its stated goals"
Why do you believe Alnylam achieving its stated goals will be a key driver for increasing Ionis market cap?
Edmund Ingham profile picture
@Price Holland apologies that should read Ionis not Alnylam - should be corrected shortly.
You wrote favorably about the company in April, and again in this article. If I understand your disclosures correctly, you did not buy the stock in April, and did not own it at least when you submitted the article. I’m always curious about why authors who perform extensive research on a company and recommend the stock do not purchase it themselves. Can you give us some color on why you have not bought it? Also, did you write the headline, which calls it a “strong buy” as opposed to the “solid buy” in the article, or did SA write the headline? Thank you.
Edmund Ingham profile picture
@uni102 good question - I tend to review my holdings intermittently - I write about plenty of opportunities but am not rich enough to take positions in all of them! I would certainly consider investing in Ionis as a moderate risk element of a balanced portfolio, and may buy this year. Strong / Solid can be considered interchangeable in this context.
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