The race for a COVID-19 treatment is in full throttle, as trials ramp up across the globe almost on a daily basis.
On Monday, Karyopharm Therapeutics (KPTI) announced the first subject has been dosed in a Phase 2 study assessing Xpovio (Selinexor) in severely ill COVID-19 patients.
The drug is an orally selective inhibitor of nuclear export compound designed to block XPO1, a nuclear export protein. XPO1 has a significant role in the replication of SARS-CoV-2 and in the inflammatory reaction to the virus.
The Phase 2 trial is taking place at clinical sites in the U.S. Europe, and Israel, with the goal of enrolling roughly 230 patients. The trial’s primary endpoint is the time to clinical improvement according to the Ordinal Scale.
Xpovio has already been making waves with its capacity to treat very severe forms of multiple myeloma (MM), for which it already has FDA approval. Market research company PharmaIntelligence forecasts sales of Xpovio will reach $746 million by 2026.
Accordingly, over the trailing twelve months, the share price has appreciated by an enormous 440%. But H.C. Wainwright’s Edward White believes there’s more to come, and not necessarily because of the COVID-19 related opportunity.
White said, “While we believe Xpovio could succeed in COVID-19, we do not yet include a launch for this indication in our valuation. We suggest that investors continue to focus on the sNDA submission based on the BOSTON data and the potential approval of Xpovio in DLBCL (diffuse large B-cell lymphoma), both of which are still expected in 2Q20.”
To this end, the 5-star analyst keeps his Buy rating on Karyopharm as is, along with a $43 price target. Investors will be seeing gains in the shape of an impressive 73%, should White’s thesis play out in the coming months. (To watch White’s track record, click here)
Karyopharm has strong backing from the rest of the Street. Barring a single Hold, all 6 other analysts to have published a review over the last 3 months recommend KPTI stock as a Buy. The strong Buy consensus rating is accompanied with a $33.71 price target and implies upside of nearly 36%. (See Karyopharm stock analysis on TipRanks)
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