Innate Pharma SA (NASDAQ:IPHA), a biotechnology company developing therapeutic antibodies to treat cancer, rose 15% in Friday’s market to $6.61. This follows the announcement of a successful COAST Phase II trial from its partner, AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN), at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress on September 17, 2021.
Several analysts, including Leerink’s Daina Graybosch, gave Innate Pharma a Strong Buy rating prior to the ESMO meeting, expressing some hesitation around the monalizumab (anti-NKG2A) arm of the trial -- though Graybosch stated a “strong outcome signal would de-risk a large opportunity for monalizumab (anti-NKG2A) and change the narrative around Innate Pharma.”
In its most recent press release, AstraZeneca stated that the COAST Phase II trial showed improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) and objective response rate with the combination of monalizumab, an anti-NKG2A monoclonal antibody, and Imfinzi (durvalumab). “We plan to start a registrational trial with the hope of bringing these new treatment options to patients that further increase the potential for cure in this setting,” said Executive Vice President and Oncology R&D
Innate Pharma maintains an Outperform rating on SVB Leerink, with an increase in target price from $7 to $9. Though biotech is often viewed as an incredibly volatile industry, analysts and partners of both Innate Pharma and AstraZeneca remain hopeful following the news of the trial’s success.
“We look forward to continuing to invest in NK cell science and further advancing the next wave of scientific innovation at Innate,” said Mondher Mahjoubi, Chief Executive Officer of Innate Pharma.