Sangamo Biosciences, Inc. (SGMO) Shares Pop on FDA Clearance of New Drug

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Sangamo Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:SGMO) stock is trading up about 6.8% this morning after it was announced that the company has received FDA clearance for their investigational new drug application for SB-318. SB-318 is a treatment that is aimed at providing life-long therapy for Mucopolysaccharidosis Type I, and the clearance will allow Sangamo Biosciences to move forward with a Phase 1/2 clinical study.

“MPS I, including Hurler syndrome, is tremendously debilitating – and actually life-threatening for affected individuals who struggle with progressive disease even using current therapies,” explained Chester Whitley, Ph.D., M.D., director of the Gene Therapy Center at the University of Minnesota Medical School and the principal investigator on the proposed SB-318-1502 study. “Our studies in mice predict that this innovative treatment will enable the patient’s liver to synthesize stable levels of therapeutic enzyme in the circulation, with the goal of significantly impacting disease symptoms and increasing quality life for patients and their families. The goal of this investigation is to more adequately address the terrible and progressive problems of this condition. Searching for innovative treatments is the center of the academic medicine we practice at the University of Minnesota and we appreciate partnerships, like this one with Sangamo, for allowing us to develop and coordinate this type of clinical trial.”

“Genome editing has the potential to change the way medicine is practiced, and we have demonstrated that our zinc finger nuclease technology leads the field in the development of therapeutics for both in vivo and ex vivo applications,” said Edward Lanphier, Sangamo’s president and chief executive officer. “We are very pleased with the FDA’s prompt assessment of our data and their decision to clear our clinical protocol to evaluate our IVPRP approach for the treatment of MPS I. Our goal is to initiate the SB-318-1502 clinical study in mid-2016.”

The stock closed at $5.66 during the last trading session. It is down 43.23% since July 2, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 35.93%.

From a total of 6 analysts covering Sangamo Biosciences (NASDAQ:SGMO) stock, 5 rate it a “Buy”, 1 a “Sell”, and 0 a “Hold”. This means that 83% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $22 while the lowest target price is $12. The mean of all analyst targets is $17 which is 200.35% above today’s ($5.66) stock price. Sangamo Biosciences was the topic of 8 analyst reports since August 8, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Wells Fargo initiated shares on December 4 with a “Outperform” rating. JP Morgan maintained shares with a”Overweight” rating and a $22 target share price in their report from an August 8. Zacks downgraded SGMO stock in a recent report from September 8 to a “Sell” rating. Finally, JP Morgan maintained the stock with a “Buy” rating in a report they issued on a September 3.

The institutional sentiment increased to 1.03 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.06, from 0.97 in 2015Q2. The ratio increased, as 38 funds sold all their Sangamo Biosciences, Inc. shares they owned while 33 reduced their positions. 18 funds bought stakes while 55 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 50.15 million shares which is 0.63% less than the previous share count of 50.47 million in 2015Q2.

Fic Capital Inc holds 2.33% of its total portfolio in Sangamo Biosciences, Inc., equating to 881,029 shares. Ra Capital Management Llc owns 1.45 million shares representing 1.17% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Wasatch Advisors Inc has 0.51% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 6.82 million shares. The Illinois-based Alphagen Securities Llc has a total of 0.41% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Princeton Capital Management Inc, a New Jersey-based fund reported 121,445 shares owned.

Sangamo Biosciences Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The company has a market cap of $375.88 million. The Firm is focused on the research development and commercialization of engineered DNA-binding proteins as therapeutic products. It currently has negative earnings. The main focus for the Company is the development of novel human therapeutics and it is building a pipeline of ZFP Therapeutics.

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