BTIG starts Cascadian at buy

BTIG initiated coverage of Cascadian Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CASC) with a “buy” rating and $13 price target. The stock closed at $3.92 On April 20.

Cascadian is focused on the development of Tucatinib, an oral, highly selective HER2 inhibitor for breast cancer.

Analyst Robert Hazlett writes that Tucatinib has advantages over other, less-selective HER2 tyrosine kinase inhibitors, “as its potency appears to provide solid efficacy in HER2 positive tumors, yet its selectivity gives it much less debilitating diarrhea and rash that are seen with HER2-directed therapeutics that also possess EGFR activity.”

Another Tucatinib advantage is its CNS penetration, he said, adding that it has demonstrated meaningful efficacy in HER2 plus patients with CNS-metastases.

Tucatinib is currently in a pivotal study, HER2CLIMB, for third line use in HER2 plus breast cancer.

Given its activity, differentiated tolerability, and CNS penetration, “we believe Tucatinib has the potential to be widely considered in third line (and later), and to move to earlier lines, materially increasing its potential,” Mr. Hazlett said.

Cascadian has two additional promising assets - a TIGIT antibody and a CHK1 inhibitor - in early-stage development that could also add value, he added.