BancofAmerica analyst David Witzke downgraded Ariad to "Neutral" from "Buy," and lowered it price target to $7 from $9, on the expectation that Ariad will lose its patent case against Lilly based on a judge's instructions to the jury on April 28.
Ariad shares fell 40 cents, or 6.8 percent, to $5.45 in morning trading on the Nasdaq. Shares, which hit $5.40 earlier in the day, have traded between $5.44 and $8.75 over the past 52 weeks.
One of Lilly's defenses is that [co-plaintiffs] Harvard and MIT played games with the continuation process. Comments on the USPTO's changes to continuing applications are due on May 3, 2006.