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Actionable news in CELG: Celgene Corporation,

These Are the Best Growth Stocks Right Now in Biotech

Jefferies LLC analyst Michael Yee on Monday, July 10, initiated coverage on a dozen biotech firms and named Celgene Corp. (CELG) , Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRTX) , Spark Therapeutics Inc. (ONCE) , Prothena Corp. plc (PRTA) and Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ICPT) his best five stock ideas.

In the large-cap realm, Celgene continues to be among the best growth stories, said Yee, who has a $160 price target. He noted that the stock has a cheap 2018 price-to-earnings valuation of 14 times, which stands well below the historical range.

Summit, N.J.-based Celgene, he said, has two big catalysts coming up in the first half of 2018: the release of Phase 3 datasets for ozanimod in ulcerative colitis and GED-301 in Crohn's disease. He thinks ozanimod and GED-0301 could become multi-billion dollar oral pills for inflammatory bowel diseases.

"If both positive - we see CELG at $150+; if GED fails (binary), we see only modest downside risk given mixed expectations for 2 years," Yee wrote.

The other large-cap stock on Yee's list of best ideas is Vertex, to which he assigned a $155 price target. Yee sees around a 65% probability that Boston-based Vertex's Phase 2 cystic fibrosis triple pill will have positive data in the second half of the year.

He attributed his general positive...