In a Jan. 2 research note, ROTH Capital Partners analyst Jonathan Aschoff reported that he is assuming coverage on VBL Therapeutics (VBLT:NASDAQ) and changing its target price to $5 per share. The stock is now trading at around $1.26 per share.
Also, Aschoff highlighted that 2020 for VBL Therapeutics will be "catalyst rich" with respect to its lead drug candidate, VB-111, which it is developing for three initial oncology indications: recurrent, platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, glioblastoma multiforme and colon cancer.
Specifically, two interim data readouts are expected in Q1/20 and Q4/20 from VBL's Phase 3 ovarian cancer trial. The analyses of those data "will evaluate efficacy and futility, as well as serve as an indication that the trial is progressing like the successful prior 21-patient Phase 1/2 ovarian cancer trial that was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in 2019," Aschoff explained.
In addition, the analyst pointed out, two further studies involving VB-111 are expected to be launched in Q1/20. One is a randomized, controlled investigator-sponsored trial in recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, for which complete results are anticipated in Q1/21.
The other is a National Cancer Institute-sponsored, colon cancer trial in which VB-111 will be evaluated in combination with the checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo. An initial data readout for that study is anticipated in Q4/20. "The NCI trial is of particular interest because it may show synergy between VB-111 and widely used immunotherapy," Aschoff indicated.
Two further catalysts expected in late 2020 are investigational new drug application filings by VBL Therapeutics for two of its monoclonal antibodies (mAb) in development: its traditional anti-inflammatory mAb VB-601 and its bispecific anticancer mAb VB-611. These mAbs target MOSPD2, a protein the biopharma has characterized comprehensively. "We believe there is genuine potential outside interest in drugs having this mechanism of action," commented Aschoff.
He concluded that ROTH's $5 per share, 12-month price target on VBL Therapeutics is wholly based on the company's commercial success in the U.S. of VB-111 in ovarian cancer, primarily the recurrent, platinum resistant kind, and in recurrent glioblastoma multiforme. ROTH has a Buy rating on the biopharma.[NLINSERT]
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Disclosures from ROTH Capital Partners, VBL Therapeutics, Company Note, January 2, 2020
Regulation Analyst Certification ("Reg AC"): The research analyst primarily responsible for the content of this report certifies the following under Reg AC: I hereby certify that all views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about the subject company or companies and its or their securities. I also certify that no part of my compensation was, is or will be, directly or indirectly, related to the specific recommendations or views expressed in this report.
ROTH makes a market in shares of VBL Therapeutics and as such, buys and sells from customers on a principal basis.
Shares of VBL Therapeutics may be subject to the Securities and Exchange Commission's Penny Stock Rules, which may set forth sales practice requirements for certain low-priced securities.
Within the last twelve months, ROTH has received compensation for non-investment banking securities-related services from VBL Therapeutics.
ROTH Capital Partners, LLC expects to receive or intends to seek compensation for investment banking or other business relationships with the covered companies mentioned in this report in the next three months.