Leerink starts Turnstone Biologics at MP; PT $13

Leerink Partners initiated coverage of Turnstone Biologics (NASDAQ:TSBX) with a “market perform” rating and $13 price target. The stock closed at $11.73 on Aug. 14.

“We see potential in Turnstone’s selected tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) approach; however, we believe there is limited upside for the stock ahead of sector infrastructure and Turnstone clinical catalysts in the next year,” writes analyst Daina Graybosch, Ph.D.

She said that Turnstone currently has no clinical outcome data for its selected TIL programs, enriched for tumor-reactive T-cells. The company’s approach is based on “interesting correlative findings from academic studies, but we know of no decently-sized prospective study that demonstrates the feasibility of consistently selecting TILs, or that prospective-selected T-cells drive better outcomes vs. being correlated with better outcomes from bulk TIL products.”

In the next year, Dr. Graybosch said sentiment in the TIL sector will likely be dominated by Iovance, and “we see potential for near-term challenges in commercial rollout that read-through negatively to Turnstone.”