Wall Street broker HC Wainwright repeated its ‘buy’ call and US$11 price target on Tiziana Life Sciences PLC (NASDAQ:TLSA; LON:TILS) following the completion of its COVID-19 study and the appointment of a heavy-hitting chief medical officer.
Top-line data will be available later this month from its recently completed clinical trial of patients that received its nasally-administered monoclonal antibody, Foralumab.
Anecdotal feedback from the study, carried out in Brazil in collaboration with the Harvard Medical School and Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Santos Hospital, was “positive and suggests that the treatment was well-tolerated”, the company said.
“Among the positive results that patients reported, the most common observation was that the treatment resulted in rapid improvement in smell sensation, which is frequently lost in COVID-19-infected patients (a condition known as anosmia),” said HCW analyst Raghuram Selvaraju.
He also hailed the appointment as chief medical officer of Dr Neil Graham, an industry veteran with experience of successfully developing blockbuster monoclonal antibody products.
During his tenure, he also led the product development for Kevzara, an IL-6R antibody for rheumatoid arthritis, which is now also being used to fight coronavirus symptoms.
Graham’s experience will be crucial during the clinical evolution of Tiziana candidates Foralumab, a monoclonal antibody (mAB) treatment for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, Milciclib, for cancer, and TZLS-501, its anti-IL-6 drug.
He flagged as a potential “game-changer” the ability to deliver antibody immuno-therapeutics both orally and nasally, an approach being pioneered with Foralumab.
Analyst Selvaraju said of Graham’s appointment: “In our view, [it] clearly signals Tiziana's intent to build a world-class drug development organization and support the advancement of Foralumab and other clinical candidates rapidly across multiple indications.”
The US-listed stock closed at just over US$3 a share, suggesting there is significant upside the HC Wainwright US$11, 12-month price target.