Wedbush’s Top Biotech Picks Ahead of AACR Annual Meeting

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The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting is scheduled for March 31 to April 3. Abstracts have been released for the companies presenting at this event, and Wedbush has some ideas for what the big movers could be.

While the broad markets have pushed ahead in January and February, with the S&P 500 gaining about 12% in this time, the health care sector has lagged, only gaining about 7%. There is definitely more room to run here, and the AACR meeting could be that catalyst.

24/7 Wall St. has reviewed Wedbush’s report and come out with a few companies that we think could fare the best out of Wedbush’s coverage universe. In addition to the picks, we have included some additional color, recent trading history and consensus analyst price target.

CytomX Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CTMX) is presenting on a couple different topics: probody conjugate (CX-2009) treatment in patients with advanced solid tumors and probody drug conjugate targeting CD166 in preclinical antitumor activity. Wedbush has an Outperform rating with a price target of $25, implying upside of 123% from Friday’s closing price of $11.22. The shares have a 52-week range of $10.91 to $35.00. The stock has a consensus price target of $29.20.

G1 Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: GTHX) is presenting a couple studies on primary and acquired resistance to CDK4/6 inhibitors, with one of the studies in non-small cell lung cancer. The firm is also presenting on combination therapies with CDK4/6 inhibitors to treat KRAS-mutant pancreatic cancer. Wedbush has an Outperform rating with a price target of $67, implying upside of 263% from the most recent closing price of $18.46. The 52-week trading range is $15.21 to $69.57, and the consensus price target is $69.50.

Mersana Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: MRSN) is presenting a study on the action of an antibody-drug conjugate carrying a microtubule inhibitor and a DNA alkylator on tumor cells. Separately, it is presenting on Dolasynthen, a novel, homogeneous Auristatin F hydroxyprophl amide antibody-drug conjugate platflorm. Wedbush has an Outperform rating and a price target of $15, which implies upside of 172% from the most recent close at $5.51. Shares have traded in a 52-week range of $2.84 to $23.95. The consensus price target is $13.00.

Arcus Biosciences Inc. (NYSE: RCUS) has quite a few studies on T cells that it is presenting, and these are spread across multiple indications, including ovarian and solid tissue tumors, to name a couple. Wedbush’s Outperform rating comes with a price target of $22, implying upside of 87% from the most recent close at $11.79. The 52-week range is $8.57 to $22.10, and the consensus price target is $21.75.

Sierra Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ: SRRA) is presenting on a combination treatment of the CHK1 inhibitor, SRA737, and low-dose gemcitabine, inducing durable tumor regressions and modulating the immune microenvironment in small cell lung cancer. Wedbush rates the stock at Outperform, with a price target of $6. That implies upside of 209% from the most recent closing price of $1.94. The shares have a 52-week range of $1.04 to $3.70 and a consensus price target of $6.67.

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