SVB Leerink launched coverage of Dice Therapeutics (NASDAQ:DICE) with an “outperform” rating and $46 price target. The stock closed at $26.49 on Oct. 8.
DICE is a biopharmaceutical company leveraging its proprietary DELSCAPE drug discovery platform to build a pipeline of oral, small molecule therapeutics against well-validated targets to treat chronic diseases in immunology.
Analyst Thomas Smith writes that DICE is initially pursuing development of oral antagonists of the pro-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-17 (IL-17), a target implicated in a range of chronic inflammatory diseases that has been validated through the clinical and commercial success of multiple FDA approved antibodies.
Lead product candidate, S011806, is targeting a sizable opportunity in moderate-to-severe psoriasis and has shown favorable initial findings from preclinical studies, suggesting that this small molecule inhibitor can suppress the inflammation driven by IL-17A in a disease model to an equivalent degree as injectable biologics therapy such as Novartis’ Cosentyx, he added.
“We believe that first-in-human clinical data for S011806 expected in the summer of 2022, which will include data in psoriasis patients, could demonstrate initial proof-of-concept and unlock meaningful fundamental value,” Mr. Smith said.
In addition, he said DICE’s oral integrin antagonist programs for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis could offer “further upside and provide long-term growth potential for DICE shares.”
Mr. Smith also said he sees initial validation of DELSCAPE’s value and versatility from DICE’s partnership with Sanofi on an early immuno-oncology program.
“While early, we see the potential for DICE to grow into a significant player in the global autoimmune competitive landscape,” he added.