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In separate reports published Friday, Oppenheimer analysts initiated coverage of two gene therapy stocks - Cellectis SA (NASDAQ: CLLS) and Uniqure NV (NASDAQ: QURE) - with an Outperform rating. The price target for Cellectis is at $65, while that for Uniqure is at $47.

"Cellectis is a leader in genome-engineering and is leveraging this experience, and proprietary TALEN-technology, to create best-in-class CAR-T therapies," the analysts wrote.

The initial focus of UCART19 proof-of-concept, which is scheduled for this year, remains on evidence that TCR removal prevents GVHD. Data suggests that it will. "Signals of activity in humans will substantially derisk wholly-owned and partnered pipeline. We expect UCART will have similar activity to autologous CAR-T, cross-trial comparison difficult," the analysts said.

In the report Oppenheimer noted, "Proprietary TALEN gene-editing enables best-in-class next-generation CART with new mechanism of action yielding competitive advantage. CLLS' CART will incorporate novel engineered attributes unattainable with autologous CART, including resistance to standard-of-care drugs facilitating combo approaches."

The analysts recommend Cellectis' stock ahead of the first-in-human data for UCART19 in 2016, saying that this will boost such transformational therapeutics as well as the company's shares.

After the approval of Glybera, Uniqure is developing lead asset AMT-060, a FIX gene therapy for the treatment of Hemophilia B in Phase I and II clinical trials, which are scheduled to release results in the second half of this year.

"We anticipate the next readout for AMT-060 in 2H15 will represent a significant catalyst for QURE, supporting that AAV5-FIX gene therapy results in appropriate gene expression and is well tolerated for long-term prophylactic treatment of Hemophilia B," the analysts said.

In the report Oppenheimer noted, "AMT-110 is a NaGLU gene-therapy for Sanfilippo B, a lysosomal-storage-disorder for which ERT is not approved. We believe strong activity in Sanfilippo B could represent the first of many gene therapies directed at related ultra-rare MPS-disorders with unmet need despite ERT."

The analysts recommend Uniqure's stock ahead of these readouts, saying that "success in either of the indications is likely, support registration paths forward and path to commercialization."

Latest Ratings for CLLS

Apr 2016Ladenburg ThalmannInitiates Coverage onBuy
Jul 2015Bank of AmericaInitiates Coverage onBuy
May 2015OppenheimerInitiates Coverage onOutperform

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Posted-In: OppenheimerAnalyst Color Initiation Analyst Ratings


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