NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Achillion Pharmaceuticals(ACHN) - Get Report are up 7.22% to $8.76 in mid-morning trading as the company's rating was increased earlier today to "market outperform" from "market perform" with a $13 price target at JMP Securities

The firm believes the New Haven, CT-based pharmaceutical company's factor D program could be "a game changer for the space as the first oral treatment option with unique pharmacological advantages and therapeutic applications," according to the analyst note. 

The first human studies of the program are beginning "to bear fruit," and JMP says they "look forward to the first proof-of-concept data by year end to further derisk the asset." 

Additionally, Achillion is partnering with Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) to develop and sell Hepatitis C (HCV) drugs which could bring in up to $875 million in milestone payments and $3.2 billion in projected royalty payments over the next 15 years. 

The company can then use these profits to fund their factor D program from inside, which JMP calls "particularly attractive." 

Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:

We rate ACHILLION PHARMACEUTICALS as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins.

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