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Mersana shares climb as BTIG upgrades to buy with $6 target


On Wednesday, Mersana Therapeutics Inc . (NASDAQ:MRSN) received an upgrade from a BTIG analyst, moving from a Neutral to a Buy rating, with a new price target set at $6.00. The upgrade is based on the potential for upcoming catalysts this year to significantly de-risk the company’s Dolasynthen platform and its lead antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), XMT-1660.

The analyst highlighted the importance of forthcoming clinical data expected to be released at the European Society of Gynaecological Oncology (ESGO) conference, scheduled from March 7-10. The data includes results from the Uplift trial for UpRi, set to be presented on March 10, and from the Phase 1 trial for XMT-1592, which will be disclosed on March 8. Both drugs, now discontinued, target NaPi2b and carry the Dolalock payload, but differ in their design technologies.

UpRi, which was developed using Dolaflexin technology, is a heterogeneous mixture of ADCs, whereas XMT-1592 is a single-species ADC designed using the Dolasynthen platform, which is also utilized for XMT-1660. The analyst expressed the belief that the data from these two drugs could answer critical questions regarding the safety of the Dolasynthen platform, especially whether XMT-1660 can be dosed at levels that are both safe and effective.

The key toxicities associated with UpRi that have raised concerns are pneumonitis and bleeding. The forthcoming data is expected to clarify if these issues have been addressed in the Dolasynthen platform, thereby potentially improving the safety profile of XMT-1660.

The BTIG analyst’s comments suggest that the success of the Dolasynthen platform and XMT-1660 could hinge on the ability to deliver meaningful doses to patients without incurring the concerning toxicities observed with UpRi. The upcoming clinical readouts are therefore seen as pivotal for Mersana’s progress in developing its ADC technologies.


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