ASCO Updates: Cowen Analysts Weigh In on Exelixis, Inc. (EXEL), Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARIA) and Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. (CLDX)

With more than 30,000 attendees, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting is the largest cancer conference in the world. As a result, Cowen analysts are giving their two cents on companies making presentations at the conference. Here are a few takeaways from the conference in regards to Exelixis, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXEL), Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA), and Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLDX).

Exelixis, Inc.

Exelixis shares are up over 10% today after the drug maker announced positive Phase 3 trial results of CABOMETYX (cabozantinib) tablets demonstrating significant overall survival benefit for previously treated patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma, at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting.

Cowen analyst Eric Schmidt noted, “In conjunction with ASCO, Exelixis hosted an investor event to detail the full OS data from Cabometyx’s METEOR trial in RCC, discuss the drug’s developmental and commercial outlook, and highlight new plans for cobi+atezolizumab in colorectal cancer (Phase III trial initiated). We think EXEL shares are undervalued based on cabo’s >$400MM potential in RCC alone.”

Schmidt reiterated an Outperform rating on Exelixis shares without providing a price target.

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Eric Schmidt has a yearly average return of 19.1% and a 63% success rate. Schmidt has a 39.6% average return when recommending EXEL, and is ranked #47 out of 3984 analysts.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

In a research report released today, Cowen analyst Chris Shibutani reiterated an Outperform rating on shares of Ariad, with a price target of $10, after the cancer drug maker announced updated clinical data on brigatinib, its investigational anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor, from the pivotal ALTA trial in patients who had experienced disease progression on crizotinib therap, at the Annual Meeting of the ASCO.

Shibutani noted, “Data from the pivotal ALTA trial for brigatinib looks strong with all key parameters either in line or ahead of our expectations. PFS in particular is impressive, and positions the drug to be a differentiated offering in the second-line setting for ALK+ NCSLC.”

According to, analyst Chris Shibutani has a yearly average return of 14.5% and a 100% success rate. Shibutani has a 24.7% average return when recommending ARIA, and is ranked #1236 out of 3984 analysts.

Out of the five analysts polled by TipRanks (in the past 3 months), four analysts rate Ariad stock a Buy, while one rates the stock a Sell. With a return potential of 12%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $10.

Celldex Therapeutics, Inc.

Finally, Cowen analyst Boris Peaker reiterated an Outperform rating on shares of Celldex, with a price target of $12, after the company presented data from a randomized Phase II study evaluating CDX-1401 (NYESO-1 vaccine) in combination with poly-ICLC +/- CDX-301 (recombinant Flt3L) in melanoma, at the ASCO last weekend.

Peaker wrote, “While we view these data as supportive of CDX-1401’s mechanism of action and see clear synergy with CDX-301, we believe investors are unlikely to attribute much value to these pipeline assets at the moment. The presenting investigator indicated that the CDX-1401 + CDX-301 combination would be further evaluated in highly NY-ESO-1 positive indications such as sarcoma and ovarian cancer. Several other trials for CDX-1401 are ongoing including in combination with varlilumab and ipilimumab in advanced melanoma. ISTs in combination with atezolizumab in NSCLC and pembrolizumab in solid tumors are also ongoing.”

According to, analyst Boris Peaker has a yearly average return of 13.3% and a 48% success rate. Peaker has a -13.9% average return when recommending CLDX, and is ranked #186 out of 3984 analysts.

Out of the 9 analysts polled by TipRanks, 5 rate Celldex stock a Buy, while 4 rate the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 79%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $8.63.

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