IMGN stock, MRSN stock win buy ratings at Truist on ADC prospects (NASDAQ:MRSN)

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Truist Securities launched coverage on clinical-stage biotechs Mersana Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MRSN) and ImmunoGen (NASDAQ:IMGN) with Buy recommendations on Monday, citing, among other things, favorable views on antibody-drug conjugates (ADC), a drug class the two companies have focused on.

While Mersana (MRSN) is a new entrant to the ADC space, the analysts led by Asthika Goonewardene find several other investigational compounds at the company as “very attractive and differentiating.”

With a registrational trial for the lead asset UpRi underway and as two new ADC candidates enter the clinic, the team expects mid-2023 and H2 2023 could be “quite active” for the company.

However, despite issuing a $12 one-year price target and citing deal interest in Mersana (MRSN), they warned that with relatively little news flow until then, the company will be exposed to readthroughs from rival ADC candidates.

Meanwhile, initiating coverage on ImmunoGen (IMGN) with a $10 target, Goonewardene and the team argued that the company is “on the home stretch and will ultimately prevail in receiving full approval for Elahere, which we expect will unshackle shares.”

Days ago, the FDA granted accelerated approval for Elahere as a treatment for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. However, the company that plans to launch it at a list price of over $6K per vial must complete a confirmatory randomized trial to convert it to full approval.