Zacks
0
All posts from Zacks
Zacks in Our Research. Your Success.,

Endocyte (ECYT) to Focus on Promising CAR-T Cell Platform

We issued an updated research report Endocyte, Inc. ECYT on Jul 12.

In Jun 2017, Endocyte  announced plans to reduce its workforce by about 40% in order to divert more of its resources toward valuable opportunities The company also looks forward to shift its focus on its most promising programs, which include its CAR T-cell small-molecule drug conjugates (SMDCs) adaptor platform, the dual-targeted DNA cross linker drug EC2629.

At the first-quarter 2017 conference call, the company stated that it anticipates its cash balance at the end of the year to be approximately $100 million. But with the latest restructuring and pipeline shift Endocyte expects its cash balance at the end of 2017 to be approximately $105 million. Meanwhile, a more substantial positive impact from the restructuring is expected to begin in 2018.

A look at Endocyte’ share price movement shows that the stock has underperformed the Zacks classified Medical-Drugs industry year to date. Though the stock is down 45.1%, the industry gained 6.3%.

Notably, Endocyte’s successful development of targeted small-molecule drug conjugates (SMDCs) that are able to penetrate deep into dense solid tumors and have a shorter half-life could help the company gain an edge over existing therapies.

Currently, the company is also working on the development of companion imaging agents. These agents utilize the same modular structure as the SMDCs, they replace the drug payload with an imaging agent. Moreover, they facilitate the identification of patients who are most likely to benefit from Endocyte’s SMDC treatment. This should help in expanding the market for SMDCs, thereby boosting growth at the company.

Endocyte is evaluating EC1169 in a phase I study for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) in taxane-exposed patients as well. Patients are being scanned with its companion imaging agent, EC0652 to identify the presence of prostate-specific membrane antigen. A top-line efficacy assessment of the expansion phase of this phase I trial is expected before the end of 2017. However, in Jun 2017, the company announced a halt in the enrollment of the phase Ib study evaluating EC1456 for lung cancer as well as stop enrollment of taxane-naïve metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) patients for EC1169.

It is to be noted that Endocyte is nearing completion of preclinical work required to file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for EC2629. In fact, EC2629 is the company’s first candidate to target disease cells and simultaneously impact the tumor micro environment by shutting down tumors associated with macrophages. Going forward, the company anticipates filing an IND for EC2629 by mid 2017.

However, with no approved product in its portfolio at the moment, Endocyte has to depend heavily on its partners for top-line growth.

 

Endocyte, Inc. Price and Consensus

 

Endocyte, Inc. Price and Consensus | Endocyte, Inc. Quote

Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider

Endocyte currently holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other top-ranked health care stocks in the same space include Enzo Biochem, Inc. ENZ, Exelixis, Inc. EXEL  and Sanofi SNY. While Enzo Biochem and Exelixis sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Sanofi carries the same rank as Endocyte. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Enzo Biochem’s loss per share estimates narrowed from 12 cents to 7 cents for 2017 and from 11 cents to 3 cents for 2018, over the last 30 days. The company delivered positive earnings surprises in all the trailing four quarters, with an average beat of 55.83%. The share price of the company has increased 63.7% year to date.

Exelixis’ earnings per share estimates increased from 17 cents to 18 cents for 2017 and from 53 cents to 55 cents for 2018, over last 30 days. The company pulled off positive earnings surprises in all the trailing four quarters, with an average beat of 512.11%. The share price of the company has increased 77.1% year to date.

Sanofi’s earnings per share estimates increased from $3.08 to $3.18 for 2017 and from $3.26 to $3.30 for 2018, over last 60 days. The company pulled off positive earnings surprises in three of the trailing four quarters, with an average beat of 5.10%. The share price of the company has increased 20.7% year to date.

More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone!

It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 27 billion devices in just 3 years, creating a $1.7 trillion market. Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 6 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2020. Click here for the 6 trades >>


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
Sanofi (SNY): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Enzo Biochem, Inc. (ENZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Exelixis, Inc. (EXEL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Endocyte, Inc. (ECYT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
 
Zacks Investment Research