Shares of Biogen Inc. ran up 3.9% in afternoon trade Monday, to turn positive on the year, after UBS backed away from its bearish rating on the belief valuation may have bottomed. Analyst Carter Gould raised his rating to neutral from sell and raised his stock price target to $270, which is 3.2% above current levels, from $262. The stock is now up 0.2% year to date, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has run up 13.1% and the S&P 500 has gained 9.4%. Gould said concerns over competition to Biogen's Spinraza for spinal muscular atrophy from gene therapy is already priced into the stock price, and sentiment has neared a bottom after the departure of its chief financial officer last week. Gould said he is also "more constructive" on Biogen's aducanumab Alzheimer's treatment. Although he believes intensifying competition will continue to weigh on the company's multiple sclerosis franchise, but he sees that "increasingly balanced by a growing focus on aducanumab."
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