BTIG starts Gracell at buy; PT $18 

Gracell Biotechnologies

BTIG initiated coverage of Gracell Biotechnologies (NASDAQ:GRCL) with a “buy” rating and $18 price target, “with upside potential driven by value inflection points in the next 12-to-24 months.” The stock closed at $2.33 on April 1.

Gracell is a next-generation China and U.S.-based cell therapy company developing a pipeline of cell therapies to treat both hematologic and solid tumor cancers. The company’s differentiating technology platform has two pillars: FasTCAR to shorten manufacturing times seen with autologous cell therapies and TruUCAR to create “off-the-shelf” allogeneic cell therapies. 

Analyst Justin Zelin writes Gracell continues to expand its platform technology with next-gen, SMART CART, armored cells boosting targeting within the tumor microenvironment, to promote CAR-T cell expression and persistence in solid tumors. 

Mr. Zelin said Gracell currently trades at a significant discount and a negative enterprise value, and “we see both a validated and valuable platform technology enabling cell therapy asset development in China and the U.S. with attractive risk/reward with minimal downside.” 

He said his rating reflects “our conviction in Gracell being one of the most undervalued cell therapy companies with robust clinical data in high-risk relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, an experienced management team, with a multi-asset portfolio targeting hematologic and solid tumor cancers.”