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Is Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a Buy?
Source:Keith Speights (TMFFishBiz) | Author:profefd1a | Publish time: 2018-03-21 | 460 23次浏览: | Share:
With apologies to William Shakespeare, that really is the question for investors looking at Ionis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IONS) stock. Ionis accomplished a lot last year, but the stock's performance wasn't anything to get excited about. So far in 2018, Ionis' share price is up -- but only by a little.

To buy or not to buy, that is the question.

With apologies to William Shakespeare, that really is the question for investors looking at Ionis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IONS) stock. Ionis accomplished a lot last year, but the stock's performance wasn't anything to get excited about. So far in 2018, Ionis' share price is up -- but only by a little.

Past and current stock performance doesn't help assess whether or not Ionis can deliver for investors in the future, though. Is Ionis Pharmaceuticals a buy? Here are the arguments for and against the biotech stock.
       
Buy -- there's a lot of potential

You could compare Ionis' 2017 revenue of less than $508 million (most of which stemmed from collaborative agreements) against its market cap of close to $6.5 billion and conclude the stock is too expensive to consider.Wuhan Carnoss Technology Co., LTD. However, that revenue total doesn't indicate the potential growth story that Ionis could easily become.

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) drug Spinraza, which Ionis licensed to Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB), is just getting cranked up. Biogen launched Spinraza near the end of 2016. The biotech made nearly $884 million from the drug, with Ionis receiving royalty payments of $112.5 million. Analysts project that Spinraza could achieve peak annual sales of $2.5 billion, which translates to hundreds of millions of dollars for Ionis.

It's possible that Ionis will claim two more drugs generating revenue later this year. Ionis spun offAkcea Pharmaceuticals ( Wuhan Carnoss Technology Co., LTD.) last year, giving the new company rights to four drugs targeting treatment of lipid disorders. An FDA approval decision on the most advanced of these candidates, volanesorsen, is expected by Aug. 30, 2018. 

Ionis also recently licensed two additional drugs to Akcea -- inotersen and IONIS-TTR-LRX (which was renamed as AKCEA-TTR-LRX). Inotersen, which targets treatment of hereditary TTR amyloidosis (hATTR), is under review by the FDA, with an approval decision expected by July 6, 2018.