HCW starts Calithera Biosciences at buy

H.C. Wainwright initiated coverage of Calithera Biosciences (NASDAQ:CALA) with a “buy” rating and $9 price target. The stock closed at $3.95 on Jan. 5.

Calithera is developing oral drugs that target feeding of cancer cells and immune cells. “We believe this approach has shown promising results, providing additional efficacy to existing treatments without overly burdensome side effects,” writes analyst Shaunak K. Deepak.

Calithera is currently evaluating its lead drug candidate, the glutaminase inhibitor, CB-839, in key Phase 1-combination studies for kidney cancer (RCC) and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).

“We believe potentially registration-enabling, Phase 2 trials in RCC and TNBC could begin in 2017,” Mr. Deepak said.

“Although too early for us to include it in our valuation of Calithera, we are very interested in Calisher’s efforts to study its arginase inhibitor, CB-1158, as monotherapy and in combination with Novartis' Opdivo for solid tumors,” he added.