HC Wainwright Sees 'Multiple Catalyst Opportunities' After Atreca Inks Licensing Pact With Zymeworks

  • Atreca Inc BCEL announced a licensing agreement with Zymeworks Inc ZYME to utilize their ZymeLink technology to develop novel antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs).
  • The agreement includes a two-year research term for Atreca to evaluate antibodies as ADCs using ZymeLink with the option for a third year. 
  • Atreca can acquire three commercial licenses to develop three unique ADC programs. Specific deal terms were not disclosed.
  • The Company also declared ATRC-301, an ADC targeting a novel epitope on EphA2, as the Company's next clinical candidate. 
  • EphA2 is a validated and potentially high-value target widely expressed across several cancer types, with 12 tumor types displaying >50% target epitope prevalence in patient samples evaluated.
  • According to HC Wainwright, expansion of the preclinical pipeline and new licensing agreement provide multiple catalyst opportunities for Atreca.
  • The analyst reiterated the Buy rating with the price target of $25.
  • Valuation is currently based solely on the ATRC-101 opportunities in ovarian (26%), colorectal (41%), and NSCLC (33%) cancer indications. 
  • Also See: Atreca Inks Licensing Pact With Gates Research On Malaria Antibody
  • Atreca has initiated IND-enabling studies for ATRC-301, including a non-human primate toxicology study for which data are expected in 2H of 2022.
  • It anticipates submitting an IND application for ATRC-301 in 2H of 2023.
  • Atreca also highlighted four additional lead-stage programs in oncology, including ADC leads APN-497444 and APN-959038, CD3-engager lead APN-346958, and IL-15 superagonist (SA) conjugate lead APN-541885.
  • Price Action: BCEL shares are down 2.90% at $3.01 during the premarket session on the last check Wednesday.
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