Roth starts Five Prime Therapeutics at neutral; PT $10


Roth Capital Partners launched coverage of Five Prime Therapeutics (NASDAQ:FPRX) with a “neutral” rating and $10 price target. The stock closed at $8.73, down 32 cents, on May 28.

Five Prime is focused on building a comprehensive portfolio of antibody-based cancer immunotherapies that can induce direct killing of cancer cells, augment the effect of current checkpoint inhibitors and improve the tumor microenvironment to enable activated T-cells to function.

Analyst Tony Butler writes that Five Prime has a robust protein therapeutics platform, with the potential to nominate multiple programs to support new partnerships; expected clinical updates from two early-stage programs that could provide additional upside; and recent employee downsizing and refocusing that could make Five Prime an appealing M&A target.

“We view the recent decline in the stock price following the company's announcement of planned futility analysis during the first half of 2020 of the Phase 3 bemarituzumab study as a risky, yet a potentially attractive, entry point for investors,” Mr. Butler said.

“However, we remain cautious and look towards the first-in human studies from two of the company's newly launched clinical programs (FPT150 and FPT155) expected during 2019,” he added.

Abby Hardy