BioTuesdays

WB starts Nkarta at OP; fair-value estimate $35

William Blair launched coverage of Nkarta (NASDAQ:NKTX) with an “outperform” rating and fair-value estimate of $35. The stock closed at $14.27 on Jan. 5.

Nkarta is developing allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) natural killer (NK) cell therapies for the treatment of cancer. The company’s two wholly-owned assets, NKX101 and NKX019, are being studied in Phase 1 clinical trials and are both expected to read out initial data in 2022.

“We believe the company’s pipeline logically builds on the clinical success of non-engineered NK-cell therapies in AML and CD19 CAR-T therapies for B-cell malignancies, strategically positioning the company in the burgeoning CAR-NK space,” writes analyst Sami Corwin, Ph.D.

Non-engineered NK-cell anti-leukemic activity and a seminal study out of MD Andersen support the development of Nkarta’s pipeline of CAR-NK therapies, she added. 

“NK cells present an intriguing vehicle for adoptive immunotherapies and have a number of potential advantages over T-cells as CAR effectors, including having little to no risk for graft-versus-host disease and a more tolerable safety profile, suggesting they could be a readily available allogeneic option that is able to be administered in an outpatient setting,” Dr. Corwin said. 

Sign up for the BioTuesdays weekly newsletter

Get the latest news on the healthcare industry’s corporate and clinical developments, executive moves, and market updates. Every Tuesday, in your inbox.