HCW starts Precision BioSciences at buy; PT $21

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H.C. Wainwright initiated coverage of Precision BioSciences (NASDAQ:DTIL) with a “buy” rating and $21 price target. The stock closed at $13.76 on July 15.

Precision is one of the early adopters of a potential paradigm shift in the fundamental premise behind allogeneic CAR-T cells, leveraging its in-house editing platform, ARCUS, which allows for higher precision and commercial scale T-cell edits.

Its lead program, PBCAR0191, a CD-19 targeted allo-CAR-T is currently enrolling subjects with relapsed/refractory acute lymphocytic leukemia and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, with the potential for preliminary safety data by the end of 2019, writes analyst Debjit Chattopadhyay.

Over the next six months, he said Precision is expected to advance PBCAR20A, a CD-20 directed allo-CAR-T into the clinic for relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia, which is likely to be followed by a BCMA-targeted allo-CAR-T for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.

Down the road, Precision is expected to complement its T-cell portfolio with multiple gene editing programs targeting rare diseases, he added.

“Clearly there are significant hurdles that need to be overcome before allo-CAR-T cells become clinically and commercially relevant, but the innovation engines are humming, supported by key learnings from the auto-CAR T clinical experience, which could translate into potential breakthroughs that address the stumbles experienced with first-generation allo-CAR T peer programs,” Mr. Chattopadhyay said. “Hence, we would recommend owning Precision at current levels rather than being observers.”

Stephen Kilmer