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AF. Bauer Analyst Is Modeling For GW Pharmaceuticals To Double Over The Next Year
John Merriman of Switzerland’s AF. Bauer reiterated an Outperform rating on Kite Pharma Inc KITE 0.64% with a price target boosted to $95 from a previous $85.

According to Merriman, competition from Novartis AG (ADR)'s NVS 1.56% CTL019 CAR-T isn't too concerning as Novartis' prior studies showed a key manufacturing failure rate of 12 percent versus Kite's manufacturing failure rate of just 1 percent.

As noted by STAT, Kite and Novartis are racing to gain approval for their respective gene therapy that turns a patient's own blood cells into "cancer killers."

Merriman also noted Novartis' progress is a few quarters behind Kite's while at the same time Novartis cut back its headcount in 2016, which may give Kite the advantage for the time being in a one-on-one comparison.

M&A

Merriman also argued that if Kite gets approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for fast approval to meet the need of the cancer population, then the question of M&A comes into play.

The prospect of FDA approval could make it more attractive to the likes of Gilead Sciences, Inc. GILD 1.57% after the company acknowledged that M&A is a priority for 2017. The analyst argued that acquiring Kite would give Gilead exposure to an un-traditional cancer product that will generate revenue growth
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Andreas F Bauer, a Dutch Investment Firm , Licensed and Authorised by the Dutch Authority for Financial Markets (AFM), under license number 12042561

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