Kite Pharma (KITE): ZUMA-1 Data Creates First Mover Advantage - Stifel
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Stifel analyst, Thomas Shrader, reiterated his Buy rating on shares of Kite Pharma (NASDAQ: KITE) after the company released topline data from ZUMA-1 that were considerably better than the standard of care (SOC) with a CR rate of 52% relative to the current SOC (salvage chemotherapies) that would be expected to yield a CR rate of about 8%.
The analyst sees these results as above the expected bar for approval - which physicians familiar with these patients set at about a CR rate of 25%. That being said, it looks like early days in the use of these cells as about of the 25% patients that initially achieve a CR loose their responses within three months (durable-CR rate of 39%). These pseudo-CRs seem to be the low hanging fruit in upcoming efforts to improve the efficacy of KTE-019 and more experienced treaters may be able to close this gap over time. Most importantly, Kite should now enjoy a significant first mover advantage as we expect this learning process to occur in the commercial setting using Kite’s product.
No change to the price target of $74.
Shares of Kite Pharma closed at $54.98 yesterday.
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