Banc of America Cuts Trimeris to 'Neutral'

Analyst Michael King sees little hope for near-term sales acceleration for the drug maker's HIV drug

Banc of America downgraded Trimeris (TRMS ) to neutral from buy.

Analyst Michael King says he believes Trimeris' HIV drug Fuzeon represents a breakthrough therapy for HIV patients. However, after recent talks with HIV clinicians, and recent weak sales results, he sees little hope for near-term sales acceleration. He notes clinicians suggest there's a long road ahead; patient demand for Fuzeon is low so far.

To reflect challenges in the target population, King cut the $616 million 2008 earnings per share estimate to $392 million. He believes Trimeris will trade flat until Fuzeon accelerates, an event for which he doesn't foresee a catalyst. King cut the $39 target to $15.

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