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Crispr Stock Down on Data for CAR-T Therapy Candidate

A Crispr analyst says the results of the company's recent study lagged expectations. Another analyst is a buyer on the stock's weakness.
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Crispr Therapeutics  (CRSP) - Get Free Report shares fell Wednesday as investors reacted to the biopharma's results of a trial of CTX110, its CAR-T cell treatment.

Shares of the Zug, Switzerland, company at last check were down 5.7% to $96.77.

CTX110 was well tolerated across all dose levels in a trial. Crispr said the trial was made up of 30 patients with large B-cell lymphoma.

The study showed a 58% overall response rate and 38% complete response rate in LBCL with a single dose of CTX110 at Dose Level 2 and above on an intent-to-treat basis.

Durable responses in LBCL were achieved with six-month complete response rate of 21% and longest response on-going at over 18 months after initial infusion.

Chief Executive Samarth Kulkarni said in a statement that company was "excited to share positive data" from the trial.

Stifel analyst Benjamin Burnett affirmed a hold rating and lowered his price target to $101 from $139.

The analyst said in a research note that additional data were "below expectations and leads us to be more skeptical of the company's b2m-knockout strategy, and their oncology pipeline more broadly."

B2m refers to beta-2 microglobulin and has been described as a "tumor marker," or substances made by cancer cells or by normal cells in response to cancer in the body.

"Management is now focused on a 2-dose strategy (i.e. consolidation dosing), and we now expect the stock debate to center around the likelihood that this will improve durability," Burnett said.

Theoretically it seems possible, the analyst added, "though the little multi-dose data that we have doesn't give us enough confidence to build a thesis around this."

Burnett added that the sickle-cell-disease data in connection with CTX001 is exceptional, "but it’s our opinion that the stock currently reflects much of this optimism already."

Piper Sandler analyst Edward Tenthoff kept his overweight rating and $180 price target on Crispr Therapeutics, saying that he is a buyer of the stock on its current weakness, according to the Fly.

Remission was durable with 6-month complete-response rate of 21% and longest response greater than 18 months, the analyst said in a note. 

He added that Crispr ended the second quarter with a cash position of $2.6 billion.