BTIG raised its price target for Mersana Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MRSN) to $32 from $21, saying the company’s STING agonist antibody-drug conjugates look compelling on the evolving immunoncology landscape. The stock closed at $21.31 on June 23.
“Mechanistically, these molecules act analogously to Fc-enhanced monoclonal antibodies that have shown compelling synergy with immunoncology,” writes analyst Thomas Shrader.
The key feature of this platform is the tumor-targeted delivery of the STING agonist after systemic administration, with very low toxicity, he added.
Mr. Shrader said the ability of these antibody-drug conjugates to generate an anti-tumor activity in the severe combined immunodeficient mouse model (lacking T-cells) “highlights their robust immunological activity solely based on the innate immune response.”
These activated immune cells further secrete cytokines/chemokines, which can subsequently activate an adaptive immune response, generating an anti-tumor memory response, he added.
Mersana will disclose its first Immunosynthen antibody-drug conjugate candidate and a path forward in the second half of 2020, Mr. Shrader said.