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Sarepta (SRPT) Inks Deal With Aldevron for Plasmid DNA Supply

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Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. (SRPT - Free Report) announced that it has entered into an strategic agreement with Fargo, ND-based plasmid DNA manufacturer, Aldevron for the supply of plasmid DNA to fulfill Sarepta’s needs for the development of its promising gene therapies in clinical studies and also for commercial use. Per the agreement, Aldevron will supply GMP-grade plasmid for Sarepta's micro-dystrophin Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene therapy program and Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy programs. Aldevron will also supply plasmid source material for future gene therapy programs.

The share price of Sarepta has increased 83.6% in the past year, against the industry’s decline of 24.6%.

Sarepta has been pursuing strategic collaborations for the development of its disease-modifying DMD pipeline, ever since it gained approval for Exondys 51, which is a once-weekly intravenous infusion, specifically targeting patients who have a confirmed mutation of the DMD gene susceptible to exon 51 skipping. Sarepta entered into collaborations with Summit Therapeutics plc (SMMT - Free Report) and Catabasis, respectively, in 2016. The company gained rights to Summit’s utrophin modulator pipeline candidates, while under the deal with Catabais, it gained rights to explore a combination-drug treatment — Sarepta’s exon skipping treatment and Catabasis’ NF-kB inhibition treatment — for treating DMD. Sarepta also has two gene therapy-focused partnerships with Nationwide Children's Hospital for the treatment of DMD.

In August 2018, Sarepta bought exclusive rights to Lacerta Therapeutics’ CNS-targeted gene therapy candidate for Pompe Disease. In October, Sarepta entered into a license agreement with Lysogene for gaining development rights to an AAV-mediated gene therapy candidate, LYS-SAF302, which is being evaluated in a mid-stage study for mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (MPS IIIA).

Sarepta is looking to build its DMD pipeline beyond Exondys 51 by developing other exon-skipping treatments. In fact, the company has about eight exon-skipping candidates in its pipeline, including golodirsen and casimersen, which if approved will be eligible to treat 75-80% of the DMD population.


Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Sarepta currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks worth considering are Myriad Genetics, Inc. (MYGN - Free Report) and Editas Medicine, Inc. (EDIT - Free Report) . While Myriad sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Editas carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Myriad’s earnings per share estimates have increased from $1.66 to $1.75 for 2018 and from $1.88 to $1.89 for 2019 over the past 60 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in all the trailing four quarters, with average of 25.62%.

Editas’ loss per share estimates have narrowed from $3.00 to $2.18 for 2018 and from $3.36 to $2.84 for 2019 in the past 60 days.The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in two of the trailing four quarters, with average of 10.85%.

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