Roth start Aptevo at buy; PT $12

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Roth Capital Partners initiated coverage of Aptevo Therapeutics (NASDAQ:APVO) with a “buy” rating and price target of $12. The stock closed at $3.28 on April 11.

“In our view, Aptevo remains under the Street's radar with a clinical and commercial pipeline, as well as a versatile technology platform enabling growth in new directions,” writes analyst Jotin Marango.

“As we look forward, we believe that two ongoing clinical programs may provide dynamic catalysts for the near/medium term, while the technology platform, with two pending INDs, provides fundamental depth to future value,” he added.

Aptevo is focused on development of new therapeutics in hematology and oncology. Its clinical program includes the anti-CD37 antibody, otlertuzumab, currently in Phase 2 in relapsed or refractory peripheral T-cell lymphoma and the anti-PSMA/anti-CD3 bispecific APVO414, currently in Phase 1 in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Aptevo’s core technology is the ADAPTIR platform for the development of novel monovalent or multivalent therapeutic proteins, including bispecific antibodies.

“We expect submission of two INDs in 2018, including the anti-CD123/anti-CD3 bispecific APVO-436 in AML and the anti-CD86/IL10 bifunctional APVO 210 in autoimmunity/inflammation,” Mr. Marango said.

Aptevo’s core commercial product is Ixinity, a recombinant coagulation factor IX for the treatment of hemophilia B.

Stephen Kilmer