Will Pluristem Therapeutics Inc.’s (PSTI) PLX-R18 Help Treat Acute Radiation Syndrome? H.C. Wainwright Weighs in
Analyst Swayampakula Ramakanth of H.C. Wainwright is out with a research note on Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:PSTI), after the biotech company announced that a pilot study of the company’s PLX-R18 cell therapy will be initiated by the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD). The study will examine the effectiveness of PLX-R18 as a treatment for Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) prior to, and within the first 24 hours of exposure to radiation.
The analyst compares the DoD test with prior studies conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) noting that “while the prior NIAID study looks at PLX-R18 treatment after 24 hours post-exposure, the new DoD study plans to look at early PLX-R18 treatment or prophylactic treatment prior to exposure and is thus a separate indication.”
Overall, Ramakanth sees the DoD’s upcoming study as “validation of the strong potential of PLX-R18 for the treatment of ARS.”
Furthermore, Ramakanth underscores the importance of Pluristem’s upcoming study proposal to be submitted to health agencies like the NIH, FDA and BARDA by the end of 2017. The analyst notes “We expect the study to follow the FDA’s Animal Rule, which states that a drug must demonstrate efficacy in two different animal models as well as demonstrate safety in healthy volunteers in order to be approved. According to management, BARDA could come to a decision by the end of 2017 and, if approved, would fully fund the estimated $30M cost of the pivotal study. Currently, we expect this pivotal study to complete by mid-2018 and the US government may begin stockpiling of PLX-R18 as early as 3Q18.”
As such, the analyst reiterates a Buy position on Pluristem shares with a price target of $3.50 representing a 196% rise above current trading levels. (To watch Ramakanth’s track record, click here)
TipRanks analytics demonstrate PSTI as a Strong Buy. All 3 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months were bullish on Pluristem stock. The 12-month average price target stands at $2.75 representing a potential 133% upside.