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Pieris' Artificial Protein Platform Is Undervalued By The Street, Analyst Says

Shanthi Rexaline

Shares of the clinical-stage biotech company Pieris Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: PIRS) are poised to outperform over the coming 12 to 18 months, according to William Blair. 

The Analyst

William Blair analyst Matthew Phipps initiated coverage of shares of Pieris with an Outperform rating.

The Thesis

Pieris' Anticalin platform, for which several large pharma companies have contributed upfront capital and future milestone payments, continues to be undervalued by the Street, Phipps said in a Wednesday note.

Anticalins-branded proteins are artificial proteins derived from lipocalins found in blood plasma and other body fluids that naturally bind, store and transport a wide spectrum of molecules, according to Pieris.  This provides specificity and affinity against a wide spectrum of targets.

Peris' lead bispecific program PRS-343 combines a CD137-specific Anticalin with a HER2-targeting antibody in a bid to transport an anti-CD137 therapeutic protein to the tumor microenvironment. William Blair expects proof-of-concept data in the second half of 2018.

"We also believe there is significant value in the company's collaboration with AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE: AZN) for PRS-060, an inhaled Anticalin targeting IL-4Rα for the treatment of severe asthma," the analyst said.

The valuation of Pieris shares does not reflect the potential of the company's lead assets, Phipps said. 

"In particular, we believe PRS-343 and PRS-060, which both entered clinical studies in 2017, have significant potential, and initial proof-of-concept data will further validate Pieris's platform." 

The Price Action

Over the past year, Pieris shares have soared about 284 percent.

At the time of writing the shares were up 6.79 percent at $7.39.

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Latest Ratings for PIRS

Date Firm Action From To
Jan 2018 William Blair Initiates Coverage On Outperform
May 2017 Rodman & Renshaw Initiates Coverage On Buy
Aug 2016 Roth Capital Assumes Buy

View More Analyst Ratings for PIRS
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

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