WB starts Celyad at OP; fair market value $53

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William Blair launched coverage of Celyad S.A. (NASDAQ:CYAD) with an “outperform” rating and a fair value estimate of $53. The stock closed at $23.58 on Oct.29.

Celyad’s lead candidate, CYAD-01, is an autologous (patient-derived) NKG2D chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy being developed to treat both solid tumors and hematologic or liquid cancers.

“In our view, the company’s platform has several advantages, including a product profile that could be suitable for repeat injections, the ability to treat multiple tumor types using one CAR construct, activity in the absence of preconditioning, and the potential to show an adaptive immune response,” writes analyst Raju Prasad.

He said CYAD-01 has shown efficacy against a number of tumor types, including multiple myeloma, ovarian carcinoma, and lymphoma. The company has an ongoing Phase 1 trial in colorectal cancer and relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) that has shown signs of efficacy, ranging from stable disease to complete response in an AML patient, who subsequently received allo-HSCT.

“We believe that Celyad’s allogeneic platform is significantly underappreciated,” he said. The company’s intellectual property estate for allogeneic CAR-T cells (cells collected from healthy donors) could be a source of untapped value, given the recent investment in developing “off-the-shelf ” adoptive T-cell therapies.

In July 2018, the FDA accepted the IND for CYAD-101, which “we anticipate will become more of an investor focus into 2019,” he added.

Abby Hardy