Why This Analyst Has 'Little Conviction' On CRISPR's Upcoming Trial Data

  • RBC Capital Markets says it remains on the sidelines given commercial uptake for CRISPR Therapeutics' CRSP sickle cell disease (SCD)/beta-thalassemia (BT) capped by preconditioning and has little conviction in BCMA/CD70 data within weeks. 
  • The analysts lowered its price target to $85 from $95 to reflect higher Opex, with a Sector Perform rating.
  • As recently reported by partner Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated VRTX, more than 75 patients have been dosed for SCD/BT.
  • FDA marketing application submission remains on track for late-22. 
  • Assuming timelines are respected, CRSP may be first to market for SCD, bluebird bio Inc BLUE guiding 1Q23 filing but not BT (BLUE's PDUFA date is August 19, 2022). 
  • VRTX/ CRSP also announced two additional Phase 3 studies to enroll pediatric patients.
  • RBC continues to see a commercial opportunity capped by current preconditioning (BLUE/CRSP think 20-30% of patients would be good candidates, RBC's KOL argues 3-5%) and a space that is becoming increasingly more crowded.
  • The analysts also say that they have little conviction in upcoming data.
  • CRSP continues enrollment in the Phase I CARBON study, which recently expanded to a pivotal trial with additional data expected in 2022. 
  • "We like all the progress (and acknowledge that CRSP is the first company to start a pivotal trial for allogeneic CART), but we favor Allogene Therapeutics Inc ALLO given directionally superior durability," the analysts wrote.
  • "We continue to wonder why CRSP has yet to present their data at a medical meeting ~2.5 years post-study start," they added. 
  • Price Action: CRSP shares are up 11.2% at $48.06 during the market session on the last check Tuesday.
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