Leerink Affirms Cerulean Pharma (CERU) at 'Market Perform' Following Novartis Collab, Equity Raise
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The firm commented today:
CERU today announced that it has entered into a research collaboration with NVS (MP) to develop nanoparticle drug conjugates (NDC) product candidates for NVS’ proprietary compounds. In addition, CERU announced a $20M firm commitment at-the-market (ATM) stock purchase agreement with Aspire Capital Fund, providing some additional financial flexibility for the company. While we have low conviction on the company's assets and the NDC platform following the recent failure of CERU's second large randomized Phase II trial of lead product candidate CRLX-101 (LINK), the modest $5M upfront payment received from NVS, as well as the ATM agreement which included a $1M equity raise provide a potential life line for the company which is positive. Disappointing data recently presented at ESMO in ovarian cancer confirmed our cautious view on lead asset CRLX-101 and we're maintaining our MP rating on the stock. At the end of 2Q16, CERU had $47M cash and $16.7M debt, sufficient to fund operations into 2Q17.
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