Tiziana Life Sciences: HC Wainwright sees “meaningful upside” to price target if foralumab COVID-19

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A Wall Street investment bank sees “meaningful upside” to its valuation of Tiziana Life Sciences PLC (NASDAQ:TLSA; LON:TILS) if a COVID-19 trial set to get underway Brazil is a success.

Kicking off next month, the study will assess the potential of a nasal spray version of foralumab.

HC Wainwright, in research rating Tiziana shares a ‘buy’ up to US$11, said: “We note that our current valuation does not include any contribution from the use of foralumab to treat COVID-19-infected patients.

“Thus, if the Brazilian trial proves successful, this could constitute meaningful upside to our estimates.”

Foralumab, which is also advancing in two separate phase II programmes, one in Crohn’s Disease and the other in progressive multiple sclerosis, is a fully human anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody.

It is being deployed to suppress an overreaction of the immune system called a cytokine storm that occurs in those worst-affected by the COVID-19 virus.

Tiziana has moved straight into human trials because it had already secured safety data for the nasal application for the drug from a phase I clinical assessment carried out a year ago.

“This is a huge milestone for the company as we have brought the time-line forward by getting it [the drug] into patients one year ahead of schedule,” chairman Gabriele Cerrone said in a recent interview with Proactive’s Andrew Scott.

HC Wainwright analyst Raghuram Selvaraju also used his updated research note to assess the demerger of Accustem Sciences, which was confirmed last week, and to re-affirm his US$280mln valuation of the StemPrintER diagnostic being spun off with it.

“This would imply that the value of StemPrintER could be considered close to the entire current market cap of Tiziana, meaning that Tiziana’s current pipeline of drug candidates is being assigned only nominal value,” said the analyst.

“This still provides a compelling incentive to consider an investment in Tiziana shares, in our view.”

Accustem is being floated off with the breast cancer diagnostic StemPrintER and the SPARE genomics-based personalised medicine business plus cash reserves of around GBP1mln.

StemPrintER is the jewel in the crown and was recently shown to outperform the best-in-class technology that was sold as part of a deal worth US$2.8bn last year, Selvaraju pointed.

The US-listed shares look set to open at around US$3.90, which means they would have 180% further to go to hit the HC Wainwright US$11 price target.

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