Mirati Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MRTX) shed ~12% on Thursday after the biotech said its lung cancer therapy sitravatinib, in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb's (BMY) Opdivo, failed to reach the primary endpoint in a Phase 3 trial.
However, Oppenheimer analyst Jay Olson upgraded the stock to Outperform from Perform, noting that without sitravatinib, the company becomes "a much cleaner story for potential M&A with an attractive valuation."
In late 2022, Mirati (MRTX) shares jumped amid reports that the cancer drugmaker drew potential takeover interest from large pharma companies. At the time, BMO Capital Markets projected MRTX could be worth $200 per share in a buyout deal, while JPMorgan indicated a $185-$200 per share target.
Oppenheimer's Olson, with a new price target of $56 on MRTX, cites multiple catalysts for the company's FDA-approved lung cancer therapy Krazati including its potential European approval and H2 updates from a Phase 3 trial called "Krystal-7."
Krystal-7 is designed to evaluate the KRAS G12C inhibitor in combination with Merck's (MRK) Keytruda as a first-line option for certain patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
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