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Checkpoint Therapeutics Soars on B. Riley Buy Rating, $18 Price Target

B. Riley analyst Justin Walsh began coverage of Checkpoint, a cancer biotech company, with a buy rating and an $18 price target.

Checkpoint Therapeutics  (CKPT) - Get Report shares exploded higher Wednesday after B. Riley analyst Justin Walsh began coverage of the biotech company with a buy rating and an $18 price target.

Checkpoint focuses on cancer treatment, and Walsh said that its lead drug cosibelimab, which treats solid tumors, could do well clinically and grow market share, helped by the company’s pricing strategy, Bloomberg reports.

Checkpoint recently traded at $3.35, up 26%. Its shares are up 5% in the six months through Tuesday’s close, compared to a 15% rise for the S&P 500. 

“We believe that investors do not fully appreciate cosibelimab’s potential, and we would be buyers ahead of the pivotal top-line data readout in skin cancer expected in the second half of this year,” Walsh said.

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In other cancer drug news, AstraZeneca  (AZN) - Get Report said last week that its Lynparza treatment reduced the recurrence and death in breast cancer patients in an early stage of the disease.

The results, which were published in The New England Journal of Medicine, showed that the drug reduced the combined risk of recurrence of cancer or death from any cause by 42% compared with a placebo.

After three years, 85.9% of patients treated with Lynparza remained alive and free of invasive breast cancer and second cancers compared with 77.1% on a placebo.

Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared Amgen  (AMGN) - Get Report to market Lumakras, a drug that treats a non-small cell lung cancer with a specific mutation gene known as KRAS.

The drug shrank tumors with the KRAS mutation in about 36% of patients in clinical trials. Amgen will list the drug at $17,900 per month in the U.S.