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Baird: Preclinical Data Inspires 'Early Optimism' In Lead Intellia Therapeutics Asset

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Baird: Preclinical Data Inspires 'Early Optimism' In Lead Intellia Therapeutics Asset

Intellia Therapeutics Inc’s (NASDAQ: NTLA) gene editing drug seems to have the potential to disrupt the treatment of hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis, according to Baird.

The Analyst

Madhu Kumar initiated coverage of Intellia Therapeutics with an Outperform rating and $23 price target.

The Thesis

Hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis, or hATTR, includes both hATTR polyneuropathy (hATTR-PN) and hATTR cardiomyopathy (hATTR-CM). The disorders have a global prevalence of around 10,000 and 40,000 patients, respectively, Kumar said in the Monday initiation note. (See his track record here.) 

While there are several newly approved agents to treat hATTR, all available drugs require chronic lifetime dosing, the analyst said. This spells a huge disruptive potential for one-time therapies that can achieve durable transthyretin suppression, he said. 

Intellia Therapeutics’ lead asset NTLA-2001 is a transthyretin CRISPR gene editing drug, and its preclinical data suggests “potentially transformative efficacy,” as it exhibited TTR suppression to levels that have shown to result in clinical benefit with other gene silencing technologies like RNAi, Kumar said. 

“While we recognize these results are very early, such findings give us optimism [in] NTLA-2001’s clinical potential." 

Intellia Therapeutics’ stock needs a “relatively long investment time horizon,” the analyst said, adding that the lead drug’s IND submission in 2020 could be a medium-term catalyst for shares.

Price Action

Intellia Therapeutics shares were trading higher by 1.28% at $15.88 at the time of publication Tuesday. 

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Latest Ratings for NTLA

DateFirmActionFromTo
Jul 2019Initiates Coverage OnOutperform
Jun 2019Initiates Coverage OnNeutral
May 2019UpgradesNeutralOutperform

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Posted-In: Baird Gene EditingAnalyst Color Biotech Price Target Initiation Analyst Ratings General Best of Benzinga

 

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