Stifel ups NewLink price target to $29

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Stifel raised its price target for NewLink Genetics (NASDAQ:NLNK) to $29 from $14 after the company on the weekend updated Phase 2 data in patients with advanced melanoma. The stock closed at $17.67 on Sept. 8.

In a statement, the company said it was encouraged by the progression-free survival and the improvement in complete responses observed in the trial with its IDO pathway inhibitor, indoximod, in combination with the PD-1 pathway inhibitor, KEYTRUDA.

Analyst Stephen Wiley writes that the totality of the recently-updated melanoma data confirms these compounds are more-than-likely having a modulatory effect on the IDO pathway and synergizing with PD-1 inhibition, with indoximod appearing to yield slightly-better efficacy data in a slightly-healthier patient population.

“We expect the emphasis to now shift to the execution (and financing) of the Phase 3 development program and the anticipation of top-line Phase 3 ECHO-301 data in 2018,” he added.