According to the analyst, the article was factually incorrect and misleading; maintains Buy rating
Published By: Eunice Gettys on December 13, 2016 07:34 am EST
Shares of Abeona Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ABEO) plunged as much as 14% on Monday's trading session following a negative article that highlighted irrefutable flaws in its trial design. Soon after, Cantor Fitzgerald issued commentary on ABEO stock to defend the company against what he termed as “factually incorrect and misleading” article.
According to the assertions made in the article, Abeona would not stand a chance to succeed if peer company Lysogene failed. As per the article, Abeona uses wrong gene promoter to treat glial cells of the nervous system and that its primary endpoint used in the trial is wrong, noted Elemer Piros, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst.
“Lysogene conducted a failed clinical trial in three children suffering from MPSIIIA. Their gene therapy was directly injected into a handful of brain regions. Abeona infuses the drug to the bloodstream, providing widespread brain distribution, as shown in rodent and primate studies. In the first clinical trial, Abeona reported significant reductions in a toxic substance in the CSF of humans,” said Mr. Piros in defense of Abeona.
According to the analyst, the negative articles cited an abstract which showed AAV1/2 vectors that preferentially transduce neurons rather than glial cells of the nervous system. Abeona works on AAV9 vectors which promotes and delivers expressions in both types of cells.
Mr. Piros commented all phase AAV1/2 trials, particularly associated with gene therapy, have safety as primary endpoint. However, this does not define that efficacy is not tested, which the company reported a few weeks ago.
Cantor Fitzgerald has maintained a Buy rating and a $21 price target on the stock that represents an upside potential of 371.91% over the last closing price $4.45. Abeona shares closed down 13.59% on Monday following the negative article.