H.C. Wainwright starts Connect Biopharma stock with buy rating, $7 price target

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H.C. Wainwright starts Connect Biopharma stock with buy rating, $7 price target
Credit: © Reuters.

On Monday, H.C. Wainwright initiated coverage on Connect Biopharma Holdings Ltd ( NASDAQ : CNTB), issuing a Buy rating with a price target of $7.00. The firm highlighted Connect's promising pipeline, including its lead asset, rademikibart, which targets IL-4Rα for the treatment of immunology and inflammatory diseases.

Connect Biopharma, a company with operations in both the U.S. and China, is developing rademikibart as a potential treatment for atopic dermatitis (AD) and asthma. The company's approach focuses on IL-4Rα, a proven target also engaged by the successful drug dupilumab, known commercially as Dupixent, which generated over $10 billion in sales in 2023. Rademikibart binds to a different epitope on IL-4Rα compared to Dupixent, which may result in better target engagement and therapeutic outcomes.

Rademikibart has shown promise in global Phase 2b trials for AD and asthma, and a Phase 3 AD study in China, with the potential to outperform Dupixent. Connect has recently entered into a licensing agreement with Simcere for the commercialization of rademikibart in China, with plans to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) for the treatment of AD within the first quarter of 2024.

H.C. Wainwright's analysis suggests that the market has undervalued Connect's stock in comparison to its peers in late-stage immunology and inflammatory development. This undervaluation is attributed to uncertainties regarding the company's development plans outside of China.

Nonetheless, the analyst firm anticipates a potential ex-China partnership or licensing agreement in 2024, following the release of highly positive results from rademikibart trials in December 2023, which could serve as a significant catalyst for the company's valuation.

InvestingPro Insights

As Connect Biopharma Holdings Ltd (NASDAQ: CNTB) captures the attention of analysts at H.C. Wainwright with its promising pipeline and potential market undervaluation, a closer look at the company's financials and market performance through InvestingPro reveals a nuanced picture. With a market capitalization of $64.98 million and a negative P/E ratio of -0.75, reflecting the company's current lack of profitability, investors are presented with a high-risk, high-reward scenario.

InvestingPro Data shows a notable 19.51% price total return over the last three months, indicating a strong short-term performance that aligns with the recent licensing agreement and trial results for rademikibart. However, the company's long-term financial health is under scrutiny, as indicated by a substantial operating loss of $83.52 million over the last twelve months as of Q2 2023, which is a critical factor for investors to consider.

Two InvestingPro Tips that stand out in the context of Connect Biopharma's financial and operational strategy include the fact that the company holds more cash than debt on its balance sheet, which may provide some cushion against financial headwinds, and that liquid assets exceed short-term obligations, suggesting a degree of financial stability in the near term. Nevertheless, the company is not expected to be profitable this year, and analysts have raised concerns about its rapid cash burn and weak gross profit margins.

For those interested in a more comprehensive analysis, there are additional InvestingPro Tips available at https://www.investing.com/pro/CNTB. Readers can use the coupon code PRONEWS24 to get an additional 10% off a yearly or biyearly Pro and Pro+ subscription, unlocking a deeper understanding of Connect Biopharma's financial health and market potential.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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