The stock market has always been a risky place, but the last few weeks have seen a lot more of that. In January, the bull market for 2021 came to an end. In February, intraday swings have been bigger, and some losses have been partially reversed. It’s not surprising that the market isn’t very stable right now because of a lot of conflicting currents that are pushing in different directions at the same time.
Oppenheimer has released a new report on the state of the market and the economy. It lays out the facts. He says: “We think that many things are actually getting better, even though a number of problems that seem to be getting worse seem to be getting worse.” It’s a good thing to look at January’s jobs numbers as a positive, but it’s also a challenge for monetary policymakers to deal with right now because of the huge job gains that were reported last Friday.
Our goal was to look more closely at two stocks that Oppenheimer likes. Those working for the company think there’s room for each of them to grow at least 60% over the next year or two There is a database called TipRanks. We used it to find out what other people on the Street thought about us.
It’s Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA)
The first company we’re going to look at is Intellia, a clinical stage biotherapeutic company that was founded in 2014 to develop new drug candidates for genetic diseases, specifically using CRISPR gene editing technology to make changes to genes. Today, the company has a lot of different kinds of research going on. It has both in vivo and ex vivo research tracks, and it’s working on treatments for a wide range of illnesses, from haemophilia to myeloid leukaemia to sickle cell disease to angioedema. The company works on its own and with other biotech companies, both of which work together.
There are a lot of important things to come for the company’s clinical programmes. In 2022, the company plans to keep working on NTLA-2001, which is a treatment for transthyretin (ATTR) amyloidosis. This drug candidate could be a one-dose drug and is in the middle of a Phase 1 clinical study. Data from that study will be shown by Intellia during first quarter of 2018.
The company also expects to see progress on NTLA-2002, which is an investigational treatment for hereditary angioedema, as well as other things. This drug candidate is in the early stages of clinical testing, and it is being tested on people for the first time. Interim data will be released in the second half of 2018.
Progress on NTLA-5001 is also expected to happen in a third upcoming event. They’re working on this as a treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia, which is now in Phase 1/2a. This year, Intellia is going to give an update on when the data will be released, so stay tuned for that.
Intellia isn’t just relying on the drugs it is working on. Rewrite Therapeutics was bought early this month by the company in order to grow its abilities. Rewrite is a private biotech company that works on developing new ways to write DNA. It helps Intellia make gene editing programmes that use Rewrites tech. The move was worth $160 million in cash and stock.
Jay Olson, an analyst at Oppenheimer, is a big fan of Intellia, and he has raised his rating on the stock from Neutral (i.e. Hold) to Outperform (i.e. Buy). Olson says: “Our belief is that the current share price is a good time to buy because there are a lot of things that could happen in the future.” We think we’ll get a clinical update on NTLA-2001 in the first quarter of next year from two higher-dose groups and longer follow-up, based on the first results. Progress on gene insertion looks good as the AATD and haemophilia programmes keep moving forward. Our view on NTLA-2001 is becoming more optimistic, even though we still have concerns about how to make money from it. We think NTLA isn’t getting enough attention.
These comments back up Olson’s $150 price target for NTLA, which means the stock has room to grow by about 61% this year.
Most people think that Intellia is a leader in its field of work, and Wall Street isn’t far behind. The company has 11 recent analyst reviews, and 10 of them are Buys, with one Hold. This means that the company has a Strong Buy consensus rating. In a year, the average price target is $158.88, which means that the current share price of $93.25 could rise by about 70% from that point in the next year.
PDS Biotechnology (PDSB)
The next stock on Oppenheimer’s list is PDS Biotechnology, a company that makes drugs for the body. PDS has a research programme that focuses on immuno-oncology, which is the science of using the body’s own immune system to fight different types of cancer, as well as having applications to infections. Versamune is a unique tool that the company uses to make new drugs.
PDS’s top drug candidate is PDS 0101. In the future, this drug could help treat cancers caused by the HPV virus. HPV is one of the main viruses that cause a lot of different types of cancer. This virus has been linked to cancers of the head and neck, as well as the genital area. Cervical cancers are caused by HPV in women, and this can happen because of it. It’s possible that PDS0101 could be used as a treatment on all three of these tracks.
In earlier clinical work, PDS0101 was found to be effective at reducing tumours. In the Phase 2 VERSATILE-002 study, the drug candidate was tested in combination with Keytruda as a treatment for HPV-related head and neck cancer. This is the most important news about the drug candidate right now. On February 2, the company said that the study had met its preliminary objective response goals. The company is now moving to finish the study, with all 54 patients who have signed up.
At the beginning of January, the company said that it had been granted another patent on some of the PDS0101 technology.
“With PDSB’s Phase 2 trial of PDS0101 w/Keytruda in recurrent/metastatic head and neck cancer having met its pre-specified threshold of at least four objective responses (OR) among the first 17 evaluable checkpoint inhibitor-naive (1st line) patients, this arm will now progress to full enrollment (N=54).” This means that more patients will be added to the study. The CPI-refractory arm of the study (the 2nd-3rd line) is still getting people, and we expect both arms to be done enrolling by YE.”
“As a group, we think PDSB is one of a few small-cap stocks in our group that could benefit from a general market recovery.
Gershell gives PDSB an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating, and he also has a $25 price target for the stock, which means that by the end of this year, the stock could be worth 309% more than it is now.
All in all, other analysts agree with Gershell’s thoughts. All of the people who talked about the stock said that they thought it was a “Strong Buy.” A lot of people are predicting that the stock will rise about 203 % from its current price of $6.11.