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Synageva BioPharma declines after downgrade

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Synageva BioPharma, which are trading at their highest prices in more than seven years, slipped Monday after a Wedbush analyst downgraded the stock.

THE SPARK: Analyst David Nierengarten downgraded the shares to "Neutral" from "Outperform." He said the company's drug development technology has potential, but doesn't expect the stock to trade higher for now.

Synageva BioPharma Corp. has climbed 73.5 percent since May 15.

"While we view Synageva as a leading rare disease biotechnology company focused on enzyme replacement therapy, our view is that the current share price fully values the company at its stage of development," he said.

Nierengarten raised his price target to $67 per share from $55 to reflect the stock's recent gains.

THE BIG PICTURE: Synageva BioPharma is researching treatments for rare enzyme disorders. It does not have any products on the market and has one drug in clinical testing. That drug, sebelipase alfa, is designed to treat a disorder called lysosomal acid lipase deficiency. The disease causes the buildup of fatty material in the liver, spleen, and blood vessels walls, and it can cause serious health problems or death.

The Lexington, Mass., company plans to start human trials of a second drug in early 2014.

SHARE ACTION: Shares of Synageva BioPharma lost $1.50, or 2.2 percent, to $67.48 in morning trading, and traded as low as $67.01 shortly after the open. On Friday the shares peaked at $70.50, a price last seen in March 2006.