HCW starts Vor Biopharma at buy; PT $26

H.C. Wainwright initiated coverage of Vor Biopharma (NASDAQ:VOR) with a “buy” rating and $26 price target. The stock closed at $12.13 on Dec. 16.

Vor is a clinical-stage cell therapy company focused on developing genetically engineered hematopoietic stem cells (eHSCs) and paired targeted chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapies for hematologic malignancies, with an initial focus on acute myeloid leukemia (AML). 

Despite progress made with targeted therapies for AML, hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) remains the only potential curative treatment, writes analyst Swayampakula Ramakanth, Ph.D. 

However, approximately 40% of post-HSCT AML patients relapse, with two-year survival rates less than 20%. 

“We believe there is a significant unmet need for AML patients, and Vor’s eHSCs and CAR-T therapy treatment system has the potential to significantly improve clinical outcomes and transform AML treatment paradigm,” Dr. Ramakanth said.

Vor is evaluating VOR33 in a Phase 1/2 VBP101 study and expects to report initial clinical data in first half of 2022, including engraftment data, which “we believe could be a catalyst,” he said, adding that “we believe VOR33 has the potential to replace HSCs as a new standard of care in HSCT for AML.” 

Vor also plans to file an IND application in the second half of 2022 to evaluate VCAR33 autologous in adult patients. Dr. Ramakanth said VCAR33 allogeneic is designed to be used in combination with VOR33 as a treatment system for CD33-positive AML patients who are undergoing HSCT. 

“We believe VCAR33, in complement to VOR33, has the potential to significantly improve clinical outcomes and transform the treatment paradigm for AML patients,” he added.