In a research report published Wednesday, Maxim analyst Jason McCarthy reiterated a Buy rating on shares of Juno Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:JUNO), while reducing the price target to $34 (from $50), following this morning announcement that the company has voluntarily placed its JCAR015 pivotal ROCKET study in no-option Adult ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) on clinical hold for the second time.
McCarthy noted, “In all, the challenge is in CAR-T, and it is not fair to just point to Juno, but also Kite and Novartis, remains finding the right balance between risk (side effects leading to death) and benefit (survival). Across the CAR-T space, there is a clear correlation between clinical benefit and the severity of side effects (cytokine release syndrome and neurotoxicity). Kite’s ZUMA-1 study for example had >30% of patients experiencing neurotoxicity though none have died. The line between survival and death may be very thin but the reward is curing patients that will otherwise die. It may be more challenging to move to “less sick” patients, but we still believe CAR-T (and Juno) has a significant opportunity in the no-option population. We believe regulators see it this way as well.”
As usual, we recommend taking analyst notes with a grain of salt. According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Jason McCarthy has a yearly average return of -12.9% and a 29% success rate. McCarthy has a -16.3% average return when recommending JUNO, and is ranked #4132 out of 4240 analysts.
Out of the 6 analysts polled by TipRanks, 4 rate Juno Therapeutics stock a Buy, while 2 rate the stock a Hold. With a return potential of nearly 103%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $44.25