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Biopharma Co. Ceases Program to Optimize Resources
Research Report

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This French developer of investigative cancer therapies is focused on advanced its remaining programs and is amply funded to do so, noted an Oppenheimer report.

Cellectis SA (CLLS:NASDAQ; ALCLS:Paris) stopped enrollment and patient treatment in the MELANI-01 trial "to save resources," and Oppenheimer lowered its target price on the developer of immuno-oncological treatments as a result, reported analyst Hartaj Singh in a May 12 quarterly update note.

The purpose of the MELANI-01 trial was to evaluate UCARTCS1, one of Cellectis' proprietary allogeneic T-cell immunotherapy candidates, in relapsing or recurrent (r/r) multiple myeloma. Upon news that the biopharma curtailed this program, Oppenheimer removed UCARTCS1 from its valuation, Singh explained. This led to a drop in Oppenheimer's target price on Cellectis to US$11 per share, from US$13.

Implied 508% Return

Despite the lower target price, though, the life sciences company still offers investors significant potential gain. Specifically, the difference between the US$11 per share target and Cellectis' current roughly US$1.81 per share price implies a possible 508% return on investment. Further, the biopharma is rated Outperform.

Q1/23 Clinical Events

In other news, noteworthy developments took place during Q1/23 relative to some of Cellectis' clinical programs, Singh reported.

The France-headquartered firm's current immunotherapy candidates are UCART22 in r/r acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) (BALLI-1 trial) and r/r non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NATHALI-01 trial); UCART123 (AMELI-01 trial) in r/r acute myeloid leukemia (AML); and others via partnerships with the likes of Allogene and Servier.

Singh presented two of Cellectis' clinical achievements during Q1/23, taken from the company's financial results for the quarter and Oppenheimer's subsequent follow-up with its management team.

1) Cellectis expanded its UCART22 program into Europe with BALLI-01. The first patient was dosed, in France, with product manufactured in house. An update is expected in 2023.

2) Cellectis started enrolling patients in the two-dose regimen arm of the AMELI-01 trial, in which UCART123 at the level two dose will be administered. Results are expected this year.

Based on these and other recent clinical activities, 2023 should be "a year of compelling clinical updates" for Cellectis, purported Singh.

Well Cashed Up

Singh also pointed out Cellectis is well-positioned financially to continue advancing its clinical programs. The biopharma has been working to strengthen its balance sheet and had US$88 million in cash as of March 31, 2023. This, the analyst noted, should be enough to fund Cellectis through Q3/24.

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