Maxim ups Cerecor to buy from hold; PT $7

Maxim Group upgraded Cerecor (NASDAQ:CERC) to “buy” from “hold” with a price target of $7, citing an advancing pipeline of assets and the potential for multiple priority review vouchers (PRVs). The stock closed at $2.34 on April 20.

Analyst Jason McCarthy, Ph.D., writes that Cerecor continues to make significant progress with CERC-002, its monoclonal antibody (mAb), targeting the inflammatory cytokine, LIGHT. 

“The data that emerged in early March, which was followed by the licensing agreement with Kyowa Kirin for Japan, continues to support the potential of this antibody in inflammatory-related conditions, the most advanced of which is COVID-related acute respiratory distress syndrome. 

“In addition, we are watching the progress of CERC-002 in Crohn’s disease, with Phase 1b data expected in the second quarter of 2021,” he added. 

Dr. McCarthy said the company’s other key asset is CERC-007, a mAb targeting interleukin-18, initially being developed for multiple myeloma. 

“While multiple myeloma has become a bit of a crowded space, most recently with the first CAR-T approval, targeting interleukin-18 should stand out as a differentiating factor, (potentially complementary to available therapies), and present opportunities in multiple myeloma and other indications,” he said. 

Dr. McCarthy said the company’s CER-800 series, including assets, 801- 803, are for ultra-rare congenital disorders of glycosylation and each comes with a PRV, with updates expected in the second half of 2021. “In fact, across the pipeline, Cerecor could be eligible for up to five-to-six PRVs,” he added.