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Maxim Raises Target Price of Biotech Company
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A year-over-year increase in sales of its flagship product, and the prospect that its technology could be used to promote the efficacy of cell therapies, helped spur a target price increase on this biotech.

In an Aug. 8 research report, Maxim Group analyst Gabrielle Zhou noted the firm had raised its 12-month price target on CytoSorbents Corp. (CTSO:OTCBB) "to $12 from $10" due to the company "making steady progress on both commercial and clinical developments."

CytoSorbents "continues to drive the sales of CytoSorb in its launched territories and progress toward the initiation of CytoSorb's U.S. pivotal trial," Zhou wrote.

At the end of Q2/17, the company's blood purification therapy, CytoSorb, showed 17% sequential and 64% year-over-year growth, "mainly driven by the increase in direct sales from new customers and repeat orders (direct sales accounts for more than 67% of total product revenue)," Zhou explained. "While the company has not yet given guidance, management expects product sales in H2/17 will exceed the first half of the year."

CytoSorbents exited the quarter with "$16.4M in cash, which included a $5M debt facility with Bridge Bank. At the current burn rate, we estimate sufficient cash runway through 2018," indicated Zhou.

The analyst also provided an update on the company's U.S. REFRESH II study, which aims "to compare CytoSorb versus control in a large study (300–500 patients)." The trial "remains on track to initiate in H2/17," she said.

Also in the report, Zhou mentioned the use of CytoSorb in potentially increasing effectiveness of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy. "While treatment with Tocilizumab (anti-IL6) and corticosteroids can help, a more attractive approach may be to filter out the cytokines with CytoSorb," she suggested. "If patients experiencing severe cytokine release syndrome can have cytokines filtered out of the blood and 'walked' down to a safer level that still promotes CAR-T efficacy, CytoSorb could be widely used by the CAR-T space, which is about to go commercial in 2018."

Maxim Group has a Buy rating and newly increased 12-month price target of $12 per share (up from $10 per share) on CytoSorbents Corp. Currently, the stock is trading at about $4.75 per share.

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