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The Only Bullish Scenario For Juno Therapeutics: Its CEO May Get Fired

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The Only Bullish Scenario For Juno Therapeutics: Its CEO May Get Fired
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As Juno Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: JUNO) continues to trail its peers, BTIG analyst Dane Leone sees the stock falling nearly 50 percent as he downgrades his rating to Sell and set a price target of $12 (see Dane Leone's track record).

“The company is trailing peers [Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: KITE) and Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE: NVS)] to market, and we still do not have demonstrative proof that JUNO products will be differentiated on efficacy or toxicity. Overall, our market model for JCAR017 is ~$1bn below consensus sales expectations out to 2026E as we are not sure that the company will be competitive in DLBCL,” Leone said.

3 Key Takeaways

    1. The data for Transcend does not support outpatient use, and Leone pointed out that with its high toxicity, it does seem like Juno has a “decentralized delivery model.” Overall, there is a lot of uncertainty around the Juno Therapeutics dataset.
    2. Juno is already entering a very competitive field with its early-stage clinical pipeline additions including an anti-BCMA CAR T. Some of the players in this industry include Kite Pharma and bluebird bio Inc (NASDAQ: BLUE).
    3. Due to Juno’s strategic errors, Leone highlighted the possibility that CEO Hans Bishop is removed this year. Leone actually believes this could be a positive for Juno as the company has potential if managed correctly.

Leone concluded by saying: “Overall the ‘defined cell population strategy’ is a complete show-me story, as data to date has not been convincing, and we think the retrenched strategy post the ROCKET failure has pushed the competitive timelines so far behind peers within the CD19+ race that the company will ultimately be reliant on earlier stage products – for which we have very little data.”

Juno Therapeutics was trading down over 5 percent during Thursday’s pre-market trading session, but quickly lost those gains following the opening bell. At last check, shares of Juno were down 4.34 percent at $22.70.

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Key Reasons BTIG Just Upgraded Kite Pharma

Latest Ratings for JUNO

DateFirmActionFromTo
Aug 2017Morgan StanleyMaintainsEqual-Weight
Jun 2017BTIG ResearchDowngradesNeutralSell
Feb 2017Wells FargoInitiates Coverage OnOutperform

View More Analyst Ratings for JUNO
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

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