BTIG starts OncoSec Medical at buy; PT $10


BTIG initiated coverage of OncoSec Medical (NASDAQ:ONCS) with a “buy” rating and $10 price target. The stock closed at $5.23 on March 5.

OncoSec is working to develop safe versions of the powerful immune stimulator, interleukin-12 (IL-12), a cytokine has long been accepted as a major driver of cytotoxic anti-tumor immune responses in both CD8+ T-cells and natural killer cells. However, toxicity issues made systemic IL-12 delivery unusable, writes analyst Thomas Shrader, Ph.D.

Dr. Shrader said OncoSec has developed a novel electroporation approach to deliver IL-12 expressing DNA plasmids – its Tavo product – directly into tumors. Data generated to date clearly establish anti-tumor effects in multiple solid tumors, with the strongest data in melanoma, he added.

A potentially pivotal trial in PD-1 failure melanoma is fully enrolled and employs a rigorous design that should increase the chances for accelerated approval in 2022, Dr. Shrader said, based on an overall response rate (ORR) of more than 20%; interim ORR rates are about 30%. OncoSec plans to file a BLA for Tavo plus Keytruda this year in the relapsed/refractory setting.

The next steps include using the current electroporation device in triple-negative breast cancer, where preliminary data are promising, and developing a second-generation device capable of reaching tumors located in visceral tissue, he added.