FBR Chimes in on Kite Pharma Inc (KITE) Following Positive ZUMA-1 Pivotal Trial Read-Out

Yesterday, Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE) announced positive top-line interim results from its ZUMA-1 pivotal trial in patients with aggressive Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL).

At interim analysis of the ZUMA-1 study, the biotech firm’s leading pipeline drug KTE-C19 met its primary endpoint of objective response rate (ORR), reaching 76% among patients with chemorefractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and 47% achieving complete remissions (CR).

In reaction, FBR analyst Edward White reiterates an Outperform rating on shares of KITE with a $78 price target, which represents a 30% increase from where the stock is currently trading.

White believes, “We expect to learn more about ZUMA-1 and next-generation products at the investor day to be hosted in NYC on October 18. We view the robust 47% CR as a supportive data point of winning the first regulatory approval in the CAR-T race. This positive data readout is consistent with our prior expectations that KITE will be the first CAR-T product to market.”

The interim analysis data will be submitted for presentation at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting come December, with a primary analysis of 101 patients with chemorefractory aggressive NHL to include an estimated six months of follow-up, which is anticipated by the first quarter of 2017.

“We believe these data are strong, and if the full data are consistent when reported in 1Q17, that KTE-C19 will be approved,” the analyst concludes.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, four-star analyst Edward White is ranked #593 out of 4,183 analysts. White has a 52% success rate and gains 6.4% in his annual returns. When recommending KITE, White earns 7.2% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics demonstrate KITE as a Strong Buy. Based on 10 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 8 rate a Buy on KITE, while 2 maintain a Hold. The 12-month price target stands at $74.43, marking a nearly 25% upside from where the shares last closed.screen-shot-09-27-16-at-06-13-pm

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