BTIG starts Oncternal at buy; PT $5

BTIG launched coverage of Oncternal Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ONCT) with a “buy” rating and $5 price target. The stock closed at $1.73 on Feb. 23.

Oncternal is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on a diverse pipeline that includes small molecule inhibitors and biologic agents designed to target novel mechanisms and multiple tumor types. 

Most of these drugs are currently being developed for small market opportunities but have the potential to address tumor types with gigantic markets, writes analyst Kaveri Pohlman, Ph.D. 

Oncternal’s lead asset, zilovertamab, which is being developed for the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and breast cancer, is a monoclonal antibody that targets an oncofetal protein, ROR1, that is primarily expressed on cancer cells, thus providing a larger therapeutic window, Dr. Pohlman added.

Oncternal has already received the green light from the FDA to start a registration-enabling study for zilovertamab in mantle cell lymphoma that “we believe could lead to its accelerated approval by 2025,” Dr. Pohlman said.

Oncternal also expects its first auto CAR-T therapy for B-cell lymphoma to be in the clinic in about the second quarter of 2022.