MEI Pharma announced positive preclinical data for its orally administered drug, voruciclib. Voruciclib blocks CDK9, a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor and hinders growth of KRAS mutant cancers.
MEI Pharma’s (MEIP) President and CEO, Daniel P. Gold, Ph.D said, “Collectively, the data reported today offer the opportunity to expand our current development activities with voruciclib and support its potential as a therapeutic option for KRAS mutated cancers in combination with direct inhibitors of KRAS. Beyond these data, we have ongoing efforts to explore other potential synergistic combinations in various KRAS mutated cancers as we evaluate opportunities to confirm these findings in a clinical setting.”
KRAS mutant cancers indicate cancers associated with the Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene (KRAS) gene and these types of cancers result frequently in the “overexpression of MYC, a transcription factor regulating cell proliferation and growth.”
Administration of Voruciclib resulted in a significant decline in the proteins that increase MYC transcription and demonstrated “single agent activity” against KRAS mutant cancers both in vitro (outside a living organism) and in vivo (inside the body). (See MEI Pharma stock analysis on TipRanks)
Following the release of preclinical data for voruciclib on April 10, Brookline Capital Markets analyst Leah R. Cann reiterated a Buy rating and a price target of $11.50 on the stock. Cann said in a note to investors, “We estimate that MEI Pharma’s total revenue will grow to $1.25 billion in CY2026 from $39.7 million in CY2020, with Voruciclib being one of two potential products accounting for estimated CY2026 revenue.”
“While Voruciclib is currently in a phase Ib study AML [Acute myelogenous leukemia] and B-cell malignancies, with data expected in 2021, the potential for development against KRAS mutant cancers potentially offers a larger market opportunity and upside to our long term outlook for MEI Pharma,” Cann added.
Overall, the rest of the Street is bullish on the stock with a Strong Buy consensus rating based on 4 Buys. The average analyst price target of $9.88 implies that MEIP shares have approximately 193% upside potential to current levels.
According to the TipRanks Smart Score system, MEIP scores a low 3 out of 10 indicating that the stock is highly likely to underperform the market.
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