HCW analyst assumes coverage of Celsion

H.C. Wainwright analyst Swayampakula Ramakanth has assumed coverage of Celsion (NASDAQ:CLSN) with a “buy” rating and $3 price target. The stock closed at $1.30 on Monday.

Celsion has developed two cancer therapeutic platforms: LTSL for the delivery of chemotherapies and TheraPlas for the delivery of therapeutic DNA, RNA or proteins, both of which allow drugs to be delivered locally at high concentrations for greater therapeutic benefit and lower toxicity.

ThermoDox, a LTSL formulation of doxorubicin, is currently in a Phase 3 study for the treatment of liver cancer as well as Phase 2 studies for the treatment of recurrent chest wall breast cancer (RCWBC), Mr. Ramakanth writes.

GEN-1 is the lead TheraPlas product and is a localized IL-12 immunotherapy, which can deliver IL-12 DNA plasmids directly to the tumor and raise the local IL-12 level with few side effects. GEN-1 is currently used in a Phase 1b study for the treatment of newly-diagnosed ovarian cancer.

“Based on the data reported so far, we are optimistic for the success of the OVATION [in ovarian cancer] and Euro-DIGNITY [in RCWBC] and believe that positive results from these studies could be strong catalysts for the stock,” Mr. Ramakanth added.

In addition to ThermoDox and GEN-1, the company also has an RNA-based TheraPlas product, GEN-2, in preclinical development for the treatment of lung cancer.

“We believe that if ThermoDox and GEN-1 are successfully developed, the company could initiate additional programs based on the LTSL and TheraPlas platforms,” he added. “While we have yet to account for GEN-2 or potential future programs in our financial model, positive developments could provide significant upside to our current estimates.”