HCW analyst assumes coverage of Capricor

H.C. Wainwright analyst Swayampakula Ramakanth has assumed coverage of Capricor Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CAPR) with a “buy” rating and $13 price target. The stock closed at $4.27 on Tuesday.

Capricor has developed three regenerative medicine platforms. They are cardiosphere-derived cells (CDC) for the treatment of heart failure and cardiac regeneration; natriuretic peptides for heart failure; and exosomes for yet-to-be disclosed indications.

“While management plans to develop the CDC and exosome platforms independently, the natriuretic peptide platform is expected to be partnered,” Mr. Ramakanth said.

“If the Janssen division of Johnson & Johnson licenses CAP-1002 (expected in 2Q17), we believe it would be a significant validation of the CDC platform,” he added.

The CDC platform has yielded two drugs: CAP-1001 and CAP-1002. CAP-1001 was tested in a proof-of-concept CADUCEUS trial that showed lowering of the amount of scar tissue and increased healthy tissue after a single administration of the cell-based drug to post-myocardial infarction patients. Encouraged by the results, Capricor has launched two Phase 1/2 studies, ALLSTAR and DYNAMIC with CAP-1002.

He said interim data from both studies have been positive. Janssen currently is funding the manufacturing of the cells and has the first right of refusal for exercising its option to license worldwide rights to CAP-1002 for cardiovascular indications.