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Oppenheimer: Vaccinex Has Catalysts In Novel Therapies For Challenging Diseases

Elizabeth Balboa

Vaccinex Inc (NASDAQ: VCNX) has fallen nearly 17 percent since its Aug. 8 Nasdaq debut, but one analyst anticipates relief from the growing pains.

The Analyst

Oppenheimer analyst Leland Gershell initiated coverage of Vaccinex with an Outperform rating and $22 price target.

The Thesis

Oppenheimer expects Vaccinex’s VX15 anti-SEMA4D antibody to rout treatment resistance in advanced solid tumors and delay the progress of Huntington’s disease. A Phase 2 trial in the latter indication has demonstrated statistically significant slowdowns in cursory reads.

“Should this signal continue to be borne out in longer-term evaluation, VX15 may represent a leap forward for a treatment paradigm that currently offers only symptomatic therapies of narrow scope,” Gershell said in a Tuesday note. (See the analyst's track record here.) 

The candidate’s “clean” safety profile and boost to widely used checkpoint inhibitors, coupled with Vaccinex’s expertise in SEMA4D, are seen to help the firm break into the market of challenging conditions. Evidence is expected to arrive in the form of mid-2019 data for non-small cell lung cancer and late-2020 reports for Huntington’s disease.

“Although key clinical readouts lie one to two years away, we believe VCNX shares will reward the patient investor,” Gershell said. 

At the same time, the firm’s ActivMAb platform is seen to “streamline novel therapeutic development” in indications including multiple sclerosis.

Price Action

Vaccinex shares were trading up 2.87 percent to $10.28 at the time of publication Tuesday.

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Latest Ratings for VCNX

Date Firm Action From To
Sep 2018 Oppenheimer Initiates Coverage On Outperform

View More Analyst Ratings for VCNX
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