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Aptose Upgraded To Buy At Roth, Price Target Doubled

Aptose Upgraded To Buy At Roth, Price Target Doubled

Roth Capital has upgraded Aptose Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ: APTO) to Buy from Neutral "on an expected inflection point in the near-term, namely the allowance for APTO-253 to return to the clinical."

Belonging to a new small molecules class, APTO-253 "is designed to induce a silent tumor-suppressive pathway that is shut down in various tumor types, both solid (in particular colon and non-small cell lung carcinoma) and hematologic (AML)," according to Roth analysts.

"Following our meeting with management, we believe that APTO-253 is reaching the final stages of being reintroduced to the clinic following a formulation issue based on prior management's produced drug product," analyst Joseph Pantginis wrote in a note.

Pantginis highlighted, "The company did not have to go back to the 'drawing board' as it kept the same ingredients, just changed the recipe."

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The analyst also noted the company's recent agreement with CrystalGenomics (Korea) for CG-806. According to Pantginis, "CrystalGenomics is entitled to up to $303 million in milestones as well as a single digit royalty. Aptose will own global rights outside of Korea and China."

"While risk still remains on the '253 formulation, we want to be proactive in our investment case, especially with the addition of CG-806 to the pipeline. With a series of prototypes in hand, the company believes it has its new prototype formulation for '253," the analyst highlighted.

Shares of Aptose closed Friday's regular trading session at $2.96. Pantginis also doubled the price target to $8 from $4.


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