Alpine Immune stock downgraded by RBC amid $4.9B VRTX acquisition

On Wednesday, Alpine Immune Sciences (NASDAQ:) experienced a change in stock rating, as RBC Capital downgraded the company from Outperform to Sector Perform. This adjustment comes in conjunction with a significant increase in the price target, now set at $65.00, up from the previous $41.00.

The revision follows the announcement of Alpine Immune Sciences entering a definitive agreement to be acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:) for approximately $4.9 billion in cash, translating to around $65 per share. This acquisition price reflects a roughly 67% premium over the closing stock price on Sunday, April 9, 2024.

The acquisition is seen as a strategic move that emphasizes the potential of Alpine Immune Sciences’ pipeline and the commercial prospects of its leading candidate, povetacicept (also known as pove), a dual BAFF/APRIL inhibitor.

The updated data released alongside the deal announcement suggests that povetacicept may have a best-in-class profile for treating IgA nephropathy (IgAN) and could have significant applications in a range of autoimmune diseases.

RBC Capital notes the absence of pipeline overlap between the two companies and anticipates a high likelihood of the acquisition being finalized in the second quarter of 2024. In response to the impending acquisition and the anticipated seamless integration of Alpine’s pipeline into Vertex’s operations, RBC Capital has removed the Speculative Risk qualifier from Alpine’s rating and adjusted the price target to match the agreed acquisition value per share.

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