Raymond James Upgrades QLT to 'Outperform'

Analyst Brian Bapty says disappointing data from EyeTech Pharmaceuticals has hurt QLT's stock, but he thinks QLT offers a better treatment for eye disease

Raymond James upgraded QLT (QLTI ) to outperform.

Analyst Brian Bapty says he upgraded Canadian drugmaker QLT from market perform to reflect recent price weakness and disappointing data from EyeTech Pharmaceuticals. The stock was higher Monday after study results released Friday showed that Macugen -- the nearest-to-market competitive threat to QLT's Visudyne -- is no more effective in treating wet age-related macular degeneration, a type of eye disease that contributes to age-related blindness.

Bapty goes further to say that Macugen, which is being developed by EyeTech and Pfizer, is sub-optimal to Visudyne. Thus, he reaffirmed his current outlook and financial forecasts for QLT. He says the Macugen study is biased for a better outcome, vs. a recent QLT study -- suggesting an imperfect comparison. Also, at increasing doses, Macugen's benefit was diminished and the treatments much more frequent.

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