HCW cuts Rexahn Pharma PT to $10 from $17

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H.C. Wainwright lowered its price target for Rexahn Pharmaceuticals (NYSE American:PNN) to $10 from $17 to reflect a higher number of shares outstanding after an equity issue in January. The stock closed at 63 cents on Feb. 4.

The company yesterday announced the allowance of a U.S. patent for its RX-3117 drug candidate, covering methods of use in several tumor types, but “importantly, indications that overexpress UCK2 (activating enzyme for RX-3117),” writes analyst Joseph Pantginis. The new patent provides additional protection to 2036.

While having a similar mechanism of action to the chemotherapy, gemcitabine, Mr. Pantginis said RX-3117 is a prodrug activated by UCK2, which is predominantly located in cancer cells. “Conversely, gemcitabine non-selectively kills both cancer cells and normal healthy tissue. We believe this differentiation has been shown, to date, in the more benign tolerability profile of RX-3117,” he added.

Mr. Pantginis also said that Rexahn’s small equity raise, netting approximately $8-million, “should bolster the company's efforts in driving the RX-3117 and Abraxane combination study in first-line pancreatic cancer forward.”

In January, Rexahn and investigators announced positive Phase 2a data from an ongoing study combining RX-3117 with Abraxane in front-line metastatic pancreatic cancer. These data were presented at the ASCO-GI 2019 Symposium.

Stephen Kilmer