- JMP Securities has initiated the coverage on Aura Biosciences Inc AURA with a Market Outperform rating and a $26 risk-adjusted price target.
- Aura is developing a targeted virus-like drug conjugate (VDC) technology platform that could establish a new standard of care in multiple cancer indications.
- The VDC's cytotoxic effect is light-activated and non-toxic. The targeted approach and light activation should allow for a relatively clean safety and substantial efficacy profile.
- The analyst notes that there is a high unmet need for choroidal melanoma, the most common primary ocular cancer in adults (~3K new cases annually in the U.S.).
- Phase 2 data for the lead candidate AU-011 is expected this fall, which should de-risk the pivotal trial starting by YE22.
- Related: Aura Biosciences' Belzupacap Sarotalocan At Par With Plaque Radiotherapy In Eye Cancer.
- JMP assigns AU-011 a 40% POS ahead of data and models ~$1.5 billion in global sales at peak penetration.
- The analyst also says that AURA is starting clinical trials for bladder cancer this year, with initial data in 2023 and an IND submission for choroidal metastasis by YE22, providing an upside to the valuation.
- Price Action: AURA shares are up 7.01% at $14.65 during the market session on the last check Tuesday.
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