BTIG initiated coverage of NexImmune (NASDAQ:NEXI) with a “buy” rating and price target of $5. The stock closed at $2.28 on May 31.
NexImmune exploits signals naturally provided by dendritic cells (DCs) to activate specific T-cells in the AIM-nanoparticle framework that replaces the need for complex antigen processing and presentation by DCs, a requirement for mRNA vaccines.
Analyst Kaveri Pohlman, Ph.D., writes that the technology can be used ex vivo to develop adoptive cell therapies (ACT) and in the injectable form as therapeutics for cancers (tumor vaccines), infectious diseases and autoimmune diseases.
Dr. Pohlman said the key differentiating features of NexImmune’s technology are that it provides all necessary signals required for T-cell activation; utilizes multiple tumor-antigens to avoid early resistance, as observed with single target approaches, such as CAR-Ts and small molecule inhibitors; and focuses on generating stem-like/memory-like T-cells, which play an important role in improving efficacy.
Clinical data to date are from the two ACT programs – NEXI-001 for acute myeloid leukemia and NEXI-002 for multiple myeloid – that have shown favorable safety and early signs of activity, Dr. Pohlman said, adding that efficacy data are expected this year.
NexImmune also has multiple R&D partnerships to accelerate development of its early-stage pipeline and plans to initiate a Phase 1 trial for its first injectable asset, NEXI-003, soon. NEXI-003 seems “well-aimed as it targets HPV-positive tumors, a space where there are currently no approved HPV-driven treatment options available,” Dr. Pohlman added.