Maxim cuts Celsion price target to $4

Maxim Group cut its price target for “buy-rated” Celsion (NYSE:CLSN) to $4 from $9. The stock was quoted at $1.22 Friday afternoon.

“While we are believers in Celsion’s ThermoDox product and platform, we recognize that pivotal Phase 3 data [from the OPTIMA study] will not arrive until late 2018,” writes analyst Jason McCarthy.

“This represents a significant data trough for the company that we believe is prudent to factor in to our model and valuation assumptions,” he added.

The OPTIMA study recently was expanded to add up to 20 sites in China, which are expected to enroll more than 200 patients. A minimum of 200 patients is required by the Chinese FDA.

Even with these changes, Mr. McCarthy said the OPTIMA study is not expected to complete enrollment until late 2017. “The expectation is that following completion of enrollment, we could see data within six to nine months,” he added.

The data will be event driven, and 118 events represent the first of two interim analyses. This data, if positive, should be an important catalyst for the company but one not anticipated until 2018, he said.