Roth Sees Lion Biotech's (LBIO) NCI Announcement as Important Given Impact on Thesis; Affirms at 'Buy'
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Roth Capital affirms Lion Biotechnologies (Nasdaq: LBIO) with a Buy rating and $15 price target after the company announced an amendment of its Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to extend the CRADA for an additional five-year term until 2021.
Analyst Joseph Pantginis commented,
We believe this is an important announcement as the link between Lion and NCI is critical to our investment thesis. Based on four independent Phase II studies showing virtually identical positive data in melanoma and preliminary data in added solid tumors, we believe TILs are continuing to position themselves strongly against CAR-T therapy (safety and efficacy in solid tumors). Our thesis remains unchanged on Lion. This is a year of important execution for the company with the ongoing LN-144 safety and efficacy study and internal initiatives. Data from the LN-144 study are expected in 2017 and the LN-145 study in cervical cancer is expected to begin in 2017 as well.
Internally, 1) operations are being consolidated, 2) the R&D team is growing and 3) the company is keenly focused on registration enabling activities focusing on where TILs can add the most benefit. Off of this last point, the company is dedicating a large amount of effort into the registration path for LN-144 and in early 2017 we expect to receive visibility on the company's clinical development and regulatory path plans.
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