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Wachovia Downgrades Onyx Pharmaceuticals

Wachovia downgrades Onyx Pharmaceuticals (ONXX) to underperform from market perform.

Analyst George Farmer says his long-awaited results from the company's and Bayer Pharmaceuticals' Phase III trial evaluating sorafinib as treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer) showed 100% improvement in progression-free survival vs. placebo.

He says, with this data, the companies hope to receive accelerated approval as a new drug application was filed over the remainder of 2005. Sorafinib could be on the market in the first-half of 2006.

Farmer says, with the likelihood of achieving future milestones already baked into stock, he's downgrading Onyx Pharmaceuticals on valuation. He also cuts his $29 to $34 12-month target range to $23 to $27.

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