Exicure develops a new class of gene-regulating and immunomodulatory drugs. They feature the company’s spherical nucleic acid (SNA) architecture that is specifically designed to unravel therapeutic oligonucleotides’ potential in a range of tissues and cells.
The stock is currently trading for $2.72 per share. Wall Street analysts think that such share price presents investors with a unique buying opportunity.
Exicure has begun its Phase 2 dose expansion evaluating AST-008 in patients with metastatic or advanced Merkel cell carcinoma and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma who have progressed on a single-agent checkpoint therapy.
The company plans to use the therapy in combination with pembrolizumab in MCC or cemiplimab for CSCC. It has already opened trial sites and begun enrollment during Q2 2020. Analysts are now focusing on safety data on AST-008 alone or in combination with pembrolizumab at the AACR meeting on June 22-24.
Ladenburg analyst, Wangzhi Li, also highlights th4 IND-enabling studies of XCUR-FXN in Friedreich’s Ataxia. That is a rare autosomal recessive disorder, and it causes neural degeneration, affecting neural-muscular control. The reviews are due to begin this calendar year. There are an estimated 5,000 patients in the U.S. and about 15,000 patients worldwide suffering from FA. However, there aren’t any FDA-approved treatments. Li thinks that the treatment’s potential is significant.
Furthermore, Exicure is exploring other neurological conditions, including spinocerebellar ataxia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Batten disease, and Huntington’s disease. According to the analyst, Exicure will partner with Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance to advance its program.
What about Exicure’s other projects?
The company is also collaborating with Allergan on an SNA treatment from two programs for hair loss disorders. According to the terms of the deal, Exicure will screen and identify SNA candidates against selected targets for treating hair loss. Meanwhile, Allergan will pay the company $25 million upfront, up to $725 million in milestones and mid-single-digit to mid-teens royalties.
Lee noted that, with an $18 price target, the company’s shares could skyrocket 562% higher in the next twelve months. Other analysts agree with him. With the $10 average price target, the stock has 268% upside potential.
- Trading Instrument