HCW ups Verastem PT to $15 from $10


H.C. Wainwright raised its price target for Verastem (NASDAQ:VSTM) to $15 from $10 after the FDA approved Verastem’s lead product, Copiktra, as the first PI3K-delta and P13K-gamma inhibitor for the treatment of third-line chronic lympocytic leukemia (CLL), small lympocytic leukemia (SLL), and follicular lymphoma (FL). The stock closed at $8.94 on Sept. 24.

Analyst Swayampakula Ramakanth notes that these are the same indications approved for other PI3K-inhibitors currently on the market, including Gilead’s Zydelig for the treatment of CLL, in combination with Rituxan from Roche, SLL and FL; and Bayer’s Aliqopa for the treatment of FL.

He said the FDA included a boxed warning highlighting the increased risk of serious infections, diarrhea, and colitis with Copiktra. But according to the study investigators, these adverse events are similar to those found with other CLL therapies and can be managed through prophylactic treatments using antibiotics and G-CSF.

Following approval, management announced that Copiktra will have a list price of $11,800 a month and will be available to patients immediately. “Currently, we expect Copiktra to generate revenues of $178-million for these three indications by 2025,” he added.

Stephen Kilmer