J.P. Morgan healthcare analyst Cory Kasimov is out today with a few comments on Ziopharm Oncology (NASDAQ:ZIOP), as the company and partner Intrexon Corporation (NYSE:XON) announced an exclusive licensing agreement with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, to develop CAR-Ts and related technologies. The analyst rates the stock a Neutral, without suggesting a price target.
Kasimov wrote, “We understand the enthusiasm around the news given 1) the association with a top cancer research institution, and 2) the high level of interest/value ascribed to CAR-T programs more broadly (JUNO, KITE and BLCM trading at market caps of, $4.8B, $2.6B and $800M, respectively; ZIOP now trading at ~$900M). That said, there are still a lot of questions around the ZIOP/XON/MD Anderson approach, how it is differentiated, and potential targets (to name a few) that we think would be important to understand before becoming more constructive on the name. We would also note that this announcement isn’t a surprise as ZIOP has made it clear it would be entering the CAR-T space, and has been active preclincally in the area.”
The analyst concluded, “While we are encouraged ZIOP has announced a planned entry into the (increasingly crowded) CAR-T field, we think we still need more information to understand how competitive of an approach it may or may not have.”
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Cory Kasimov has a total average return of 13.7% and a 54.1% success rate. Kasimov is ranked #497 out of 3425 analysts.