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Fly News Breaks for February 25, 2020
Feb 25, 2020 | 14:46 EDT
Stifel analyst Benjamin Burnett notes that Iovance (IOVA) is trading up as a result of a Bloomberg notice that said the company is exploring a sale. The analyst does not know if this is true but does think this is one of the few cell therapy companies in his coverage with data that has been de-risked to a large degree by a proof-of-concept study. From that standpoint, Burnett can see how this might be one of the more interesting cell therapy takeout candidates. However, the analyst has also speculated in the past that the cell therapy M&A thesis is tough to get behind just because this type of acquisition is not likely to be a tuck-in to most buyers. Burnett adds that both Takeda (TAK) and Gilead (GILD) have demonstrated with past deals that they are interested in cell therapy. Because of Kymriah, Novartis (NVS) also comes to mind as a potential buyer, he contends. He reiterates a Buy rating on Iovance's shares, with an unchanged $35 price target.