Baird says doctor response to Sarepta DMD drug could mean strong launch
Doctors in the Duchenne muscular dystrophy field are taking to Sarepta's (SRPT) Exondys 51 despite its controversial, data-light approval path, a survey conducted by Baird revealed today, leading the research firm to argue that average estimates for the drug's first quarter on the market "feel light." BAIRD SURVEY INDICATES STRENGTH: After surveying 30 neurologists treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients, Baird's Brian Skorney comes away confident in a "strong launch" for Sarepta's Exondys 51. The analyst notes that most of the surveyed doctors "seem convinced of the drug's efficacy," with 23% of respondents already having started prescriptions and another 58% planning to start in the next year. Skorney adds that use estimates through year end indicate that consensus sales expectations of $7.1M "may be understating" the drug's first quarter on the market, with the survey data suggesting $8M in sales and the analyst himself forecasting $11M. Notably, the doctors speaking to Skorney said only about 58% of their patients have been genotyped, appearing to confirm the 60% estimate put forth by Sarepta and indicating a potential new pool of patients eligible for Exondys and its targeting of the exon 51 genotype. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Sarepta are up 3% to $37.40 in afternoon trading.