Over the weekend at this year’s Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSEMKT:RNN) revealed the results of 10 patients from Stage 1 of its Phase 2a trial evaluating muscle invasive bladder cancer drug RX-3117. Taking on already heavily treated patients, the pharma firm is stepping into the metastatic bladder cancer market to provide a solution for patients who have failed multiple rounds of treatments and are left without any viable routes of care.

Analyst Joseph Pantginis of H.C. Wainwright is providing a positive view of RX-3117, pointing to a reassuring Phase 2a data snapshot. The analyst underscores that the results “enhance optimism for a population that has no other option.” Considering that the patients involved in this study have already failed a minimum of three rounds of cancer therapy, Pantginis stresses: “They have developed resistance to the majority of chemotherapeutic agents used to treat cancer. We find it encouraging that a group of these patients have responded to RX-3117 by the PFS measure in addition to the two patients that experienced tumor size reduction between of 15% to 19%, which was reported at ASCO in June.”

Entering Phase 2a of the study, RX-3117 has already met predefined criteria, which enabled for at least 2 of 10 participants to respond partially or fully to the treatment. In fact, with minimal side effects that included mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue, the analyst explains, “Four patients (40%) met the predefined efficacy criteria of stable disease after four cycles of treatment, which we find encouraging.”

“As a result of the predefined criteria being met, stage 2 was opened and enrollment is ongoing. We believe it is important to point out that patients who have reached this stage of disease are usually limited to palliative or best supportive care, therefore, we believe that these data point to a positive outcome to stage 2 of the study,” opines Pantginis.

Looking ahead to the second stage of the study, the analyst believes that the treatment will move from a monotherapy to include other agents, concluding: “The second stage of the study has been initiated and an additional 10 patients are expected to be enrolled. We believe the results presented to date are encouraging based on the late stage nature of the disease and the responses observed after treatment with RX-3117 as a monotherapy. Future clinical studies should likely include RX-3117 in combination with other bladder cancer agents.”

As such, the analyst reiterates a Buy rating on RNN with a $19.50 price target representing a 641% upside over current trading levels. (To watch Pantginis’ track record, click here)Chart