H.C. Wainwright hosted a KOL dinner (key opinion leader) in New York, on bladder cancer with a discussion led by Dr. Michael Jewett about the current state of treatments for Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer (NMIBC) and Sesen Bio’s (SESN) leading product, Vicinium. Jewett is the Chair of the Kidney Cancer Research Network of Canada and a Professor of Surgery (Urology) at the University of Toronto as well as the lead investigator of the Phase 2 Vicinium study. Analyst Swayampakula Ramakanth responds to the event and shares predictions for results from the Phase 3 VISTA study that is currently underway. Ramakanth rates SESN stock a Buy with a price target of $3, which shows an upside of about 72%. (To watch Ramakanth’s track record, click here)
“…we believe that depending on the final VISTA results, Vicinium could have a compelling case for FDA approval. The more important factors in Vicinium’s favor are the current high unmet need for BCG-unresponsive NMIBC and the drug’s excellent safety profile; with virtually no bladder-saving therapies available, a safe, proven treatment like Vicinium could enjoy a first-mover advantage with both the agency and with clinicians. In our view, Vicinium would very likely be approved should the drug achieve a 12-month complete response rate of >20% in VISTA, and should not be ruled out either if it only manages to repeat the previous 16% response rate achieved in Phase 2. Therefore, with regards to the upcoming six-month results, we believe that a response rate of >30% would be a strong positive for Sesen, while a rate on par with the 27% achieved in Phase 2 would still be on track for positive 12-month results,” Ramakanth said.
Bladder cancer in the U.S. is one of the more treatable cancers, with a survival rate of around 88%, but unfortunately, patients often continue to suffer from long-term side effects and up to 80% see the cancer return during their lifetime. Jewett noted in his speech that this type of cancer is particularly expensive to treat and up to 20% of patients discontinue treatments (that are currently available) due to an intolerance to it. This medication could hopefully better serve patients who are suffering from NMIBC, especially those for whom the current go-to medication has failed. Ramakanth notes the most recent Phase 2 study for Vicinium elicited results in line with the previous study, which lasted for three months: “…patients treated with Vicinium achieved a six-month response rate of 26.7%, and we expect the company to report topline 12-month response rate and duration of response results in 2Q19,” Ramakanth said. The analyst will surely be keeping an eye on the progression here.
Other analysts who are researching this biopharmaceutical are also feeling bullish on the stock. How do we know? TipRanks reviewed the ratings of four analysts and all four rate the stock a Buy. The consensus price target stands at $5, showing an upside of 189%. (See SESN’s price targets and analyst ratings on TipRanks)