Roth starts Mateon at buy

Roth Capital Markets launched coverage on Mateon Therapeutics (OTCQX:MATN) with a “buy” rating and $2 price target. The stock closed at 77 cents on April 19.

“Following positive results from a randomized Phase 2 study conducted by the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG), Mateon is conducting a pivotal trial (FOCUS) of its lead drug, CA4P, in a group with high unmet need: patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer,” writes analyst Mark Breidenbach.

“We believe a series of interim clinical readouts in 2017 could drive shareholder value,” he added.

CA4P has been tested in over 475 patients with a variety of cancers. In a Phase 2 GOG-sponsored study comparing CA4P plus bevacizumab to bevacizumab alone in ovarian cancer, the combination therapy showed a progression-free survival (PFS) advantage, with a median PFS of 7.3 versus 4.8 months for monotherapy.

“We believe the results compare favorably to the current standard of care (bevacizumab plus chemotherapy) set by the AURELIA trial in 2014,” Mr. Breidenbach said.

Mateon’s second therapeutic candidate, OXi4503, is being evaluated in AML, and the company is currently conducting a Phase 1b/2 clinical trial to evaluate a combination of OXi4503 and cytarabine.

Mr. Breidenbach said that in liquid tumors, the company has presented evidence suggesting OXi4503 acts on endothelial cells in the bone marrow, forcing cancer cells into an active cell cycle, sensitizing them to chemotherapy. Results from the first three dose-escalation cohorts have shown good safety coupled with signs of efficacy, he added. Phase 1b results are expected in the second half this year.