JP Morgan ups Idera Pharma to OW; PT $15

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JP Morgan upgraded Idera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDRA) to “overweight” with a December 2019 price target of $15, following a period of restriction and a “not-rated” designation. JP Morgan had rated the stock, which closed at $8.51 on August 14, at “overweight” prior to the restriction.

Analyst Anupam Rama writes that Idera highlighted its continued prioritization of oncology drug candidate, IMO-2125 (tilsotolimod), with its second quarter results.

Coming out of ASCO 2018, “we believe that the TLR9 space is gaining increased interest, with multiple data sets at the conference underscoring the potential of the therapeutic class, including Idera’s own data, and in our view, data to date for IMO-2125 are differentiated in PD-1 refractory metastatic melanoma,” he added. 

Looking forward, he said an update from the ILLUMINATE-204 study is expected at European Society for Medical Oncology conference in October. 

“Here, we note that response rates in the approximately 35% to 45% range (as has been observed to date) would be considered a win/homerun in the refractory setting, given physicians benchmark of about 20% to 30% for a clinically meaningful outcome,” he added. 

Mr. Rama said that at current levels, “we continue to see IMO-2125 as an underappreciated asset (our model includes the refractory melanoma indication alone).”

Stephen Kilmer