A day after shares of
gained 4.6% on news that it completed a new drug application for Macugen, its treatment for macular degeneration, Eyetech gained another 3.6% on a Merrill Lynch note.
On Friday, Merrill Lynch analyst Eric Ende boosted his share price to $53 from $45 and telling investors Macugen, which the company is jointly marketing with
, could hit the market sooner than expected.
In reaction to the upgrade, shares of Eyetech were up $1.67 to $47.57.
"We believe that the early NDA filing, combined with the fast track status of Macugen and the previously announced Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on August 27, raise the likelihood that Macugen will be approved and launched earlier than expected for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration," said Ende in his upgrade. (Merrill Lynch does and seeks to do business with the companies covered in its research reports, while affiliates of the company own shares in Eyetech.)
Ende said that Macugen could potentially launch in January of next year and estimated that profits could come in north of $2 billion, with peak U.S. sales of $1 billion.