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Bluebird's Encouraging Myeloma Data Not Enough For Cantor To Lift Its Sell Rating

Bluebird's Encouraging Myeloma Data Still Not Enough BLUE

Bluebird bio Inc BLUE announced positive early data from its ongoing open-label Phase 1 CRB-401 study with its CAR T candidate, bb2121, in patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma.

Although the initial early data is encouraging, there are potential risk of CRS [cytokine release syndrome] at higher doses, Cantor Fitzgerald’s Elemer Piros said in a report.

Piros reiterated a Sell rating on Bluebird, with a price target of $37, commenting that the stock appeared overvalued “based on our valuation of the company's programs.”

Encouraging Myeloma Data

Early results indicated that two of nine patients achieved stringent complete responses [sCR] at a dose of 15x107 cells, encompassing 4-6 months. The initial data improves upon results that had been achieved in a previous study, led by the National Cancer Institute, of a separate anti-BCMA [B-cell maturation antigen] CAR T candidate, Piros stated.

“Safety profile for bb2121 demonstrated no signs of serious Grade 3 neurotoxicities [or CRS] at currently tested doses,” the analyst wrote. “Additional data at later time points and from the high dose of 80x107 “could provide additional clarity on a dose response, but we also remain focused any potential risk of CRS at higher doses.”

Bluebird's product candidates include Lenti-D, which is in a pivotal clinical study for the treatment of cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy; and LentiGlobin, which is in clinical studies for the treatment of thalassemia major and severe sickle cell disease.

The stock traded up 26 percent in Thursday's pre-market session.

DateFirmActionFromTo
Nov 2016BMO CapitalInitiates Coverage OnMarket Perform
Oct 2016Cantor FitzgeraldDowngradesHoldSell
Sep 2016Maxim GroupMaintainsBuy

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