Celsion Represents An Undervalued Player With Significant Upside, Says H.C. Wainwright
In a research report published August 8th, H.C. Wainwright analyst Reni Benjamin reiterated Buy rating on Celsion Corp. (CLSN) with an $8 price target, following CLSN’s acquisition of EGEN and the company’s release of its second-quarter results. Celsion reported a net loss of $(6.7) MM or $(0.38) per share as compared to Benjamin’s estimate of $(5.7) MM or $(0.35) per share. Operational expenses included $3.2 MM in R&D and $2.3 MM in SG&A costs, which were largely in-line with Benjamin’s estimates.
Benjamin wrote, “The recent acquisition of EGEN, Inc. (closed 2Q14), an oncology company focused on the development and delivery of a wide variety of nucleic acid based therapeutics, Celsion gained therapeutic candidate EGEN-001, along with EGEN’s three platform technologies for the delivery and expression of nucleic acids. Additionally, with the pending initiation of the Phase 3 OPTIMA trial in HCC, positive interim data from the ongoing Phase 2 DIGNITY trial and $50.1 MM in cash for clinical development, we believe Celsion represents an undervalued player with significant upside for the long-term, risk-tolerant investor.” Benjamin added that as a result of the acquisition, “The company may appeal to a broader set of investors in the coming months.”
Benjamin continued, “While disappointing data was reported from the HEAT study (released 2Q14), a large subset of approximately 285 patients demonstrated a greater than 50% improvement in overall survival (OS) (p=0.037). In our opinion, these results continue to suggest a benefit, although investors should be cautious given the hypothesis generating nature of the findings.The confirmatory OPTIMA study is designed to optimize the variables seen in the first study, including enrolling Child-Pugh Class A disease patients with single lesions ranging from >3 cm to <7 cm in size. In addition, longer RFA treatments beyond 45 minutes will be required. The aim is to demonstrate a 33% improvement in OS with ThermoDox. The trial could is expected to begin enrollment in 2H14 of approximately 550 patients worldwide.”
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Reni Benjamin has a total average return of 0.3% and a 41.7% success rate. Benjamin has a 0.1% average return when recommending CLSN, and is ranked #2172 out of 3214 analysts.
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