Roth resumes coverage of Lion Biotech at buy

Roth Capital Partners has reinitiated coverage of Lion Biotechnologies (NASDAQ:LBIO) with a “buy” rating and $14 price target. The stock closed at $7.15 on Feb. 14.

Lion is developing autologous tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) as a therapeutic intervention for melanoma and other solid tumors. “A major advantage of TIL therapy is its track record in solid tumors,” writes analyst Mark Breidenbach.

“We believe 2017 could be a transformational year for the company with early results expected from an ongoing Phase 2 trial of TIL therapy in melanoma, the first of its kind to use centralized manufacturing,” he added. “Further, we expect 2017 to provide new clarity on the regulatory pathway forward in melanoma.”

Mr. Breidenbach said Lion’s lead TIL product, LN-144, could play an important role in the treatment of checkpoint refractory melanoma patients, which make up about 70% of all metastatic patients. “In our view, opportunities exist to pursue registration of LN-144 as a monotherapy, or in combination with a PD-1 antibody,” he added.