Ladenburg starts Immutep at buy; PT $8.30

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Ladenburg Thalmann launched coverage of Immutep of Australia (NASDAQ:IMMP) with a “buy” rating and $8.30. The stock closed at $3.46 0n Aug. 2.

Immutep is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company focused on developing LAG-3 therapeutics for oncology and autoimmune diseases.

The lead asset eftilagimod alpha paired with PD-1/PD-L1 agents is currently being evaluated in metastatic breast cancer (mBC), non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), and other solid tumors.

The second asset, IMP761, is at the preclinical stage for autoimmune disease.

“As the LAG-3 is drawing much attention as a target following Bristol Myers Squibb’s positive pivotal data readout, Immutep’s efti also made its place in the LAG-3 arena,” writes analyst Ahu Demir, Ph.D. “We would like to emphasize the distinct mode of action of efti, a soluble LAG-3 agonist and an MHC II activator.”

“We like Immutep’s diversified portfolio in multiple indications and disease areas (NSCLC, HNSCC, BC, and inflammatory diseases), partnership portfolio (GSK, Novartis, IKF, and others), and the data obtained from the Phase 2 TACTI-002 study in second line HNSCC and first line NSCLC (ORR 30% and 42%, respectively) and from Phase 2b AIPAC study in mBC (2.7 mos of OS benefit),” Dr. Demir said.

“In our view, Immutep is one of the most diversified LAG-3 therapeutics/APC activators play in the public market,” he added.