Trimeris stock was downgraded by Piper Jaffray this morning after the company’s quarterly earnings report and comments by its CEO that the number of perscription orders for its new AIDS drug Fuzeon neeed to increase if $70 million in projected revenue was to be realized.

According to, Piper Jaffray cut Trimers stock to “market perform” from “out perform” and lowered its target stock price to $44 from $62.

Piper Jaffray cited lower than expected Fuzeon sales in the first full quarter it was available.

On Tuesday, Trimeris stock got a boost from an analyst before the quarterly report.

Pink Ziegel not only reiterated its “buy” ranking for Trimeris with a target price to $74. The firm cited a number of reasons related to Trimeris’ new HIV drug Fuzeon and information offered by Roche, which is Trimeris’ partner in the drug and the manufacturer of the complex compound.

Trimeris (Nasdaq” TRMS) closed at $49.03, up 32 cents on Tuesday.
Prudential changed its ranking of Trimeris to “buy” last week.

“The strength of Fuzeon data, on the clear need for new treatment options for patients with HIV, and on the guidance provided by TRMS and Roche regarding capacity of costs and goods” were the reasons cited. “Firm believes that Roche’s guidance on manufacturing capacity has been and remains conservative, and that there is likely to be additional upside vs. Roche’s current guidance and firm’s projections.”

Concerns early on about production capacity had hurt both Trimeris and Roche stock.

Trimeris reported an $18.1 loss, or 84 cents per share, for the quarter. That was $1.4 million higher than the same quarter in 2002. The company said the higher loss was “due to increased marketing expenses” for Fuzeon.

Fuzeon produced $4.3 million in the first full quarter the drug was available, including $870,000 outside the US. Fuzeon recently won approval for sale in the European Union.