Other Voices: Why Fate Therapeutics Could Continue To Move Higher

Bret Jensen

By Ian Copper

Earlier this week, shares of Fate Therapeutics (FATE) closed at $20.41, flat from the prior trading day. The biotech stock is up nearly 74% from a low of $11.70 set in January 2019. That’s more than triple the return of the iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology ETF (IBB), and the S&P 500’s gain of 27% on the year. Wall Street is looking for further strength from the company, given its strong pipeline of drug treatments.

Fate Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, develops programmed cellular immunotherapies for cancer and immune disorders worldwide. Its immuno-oncology product candidates include FATE-NK100, a natural killer (NK) cell cancer immunotherapy comprising adaptive memory NK cells; FT500, an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived NK cell product candidate for the treatment of advanced solid tumors; FT516, an iPSC-derived non-cleavable CD16 engineered NK cell product candidate to treat hematologic malignancies and solid tumors; and FT596, a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy for patients with hematologic malignancies. The company’s immuno-oncology product candidates also include FT538, an NK cell product candidate for treating multiple myeloma; and FT819, a CAR T-cell product candidate for the treatment of liquid and solid tumors.

Over the last year, shares of FATE have exploded from a low of $11.70 to a current price of $20.41. At the moment, the stock is moving higher on sizable news.

Current Trial for FATE

One, new in vivo preclinical data for FT596, its off-the-shelf, multi-antigen targeting natural killer (NK) cell product candidate derived from a clonal master engineered induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) line, as noted by the company’s press release.

“Current patient- and donor-specific CAR T-cell immunotherapies recognize only one antigen and fail to address the significant risk of relapse due to antigen escape. FT596 is ground-breaking in that it is designed to be available off-the-shelf for timely patient access and to promote deeper and more durable responses by targeting multiple tumor-associated antigens,” said Bob Valamehr, Ph.D., Chief Development Officer of Fate Therapeutics.

“Additionally, since FT596 is manufactured from a renewable master engineered iPSC line, the complexities of patient-by-patient genetic engineering and production are greatly reduced and, for the first time, we are able to mass produce multi-functional cellular immunotherapies in a uniform and cost-effective manner.”

Two, the company recently noted that FT516, an engineered natural killer (NK) cell product wiped out signs of cancer in the first acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patient to receive treatment.

Better yet, Wells Fargo upgraded the stock to Overweight with a price target of $24.

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