NEW YORK (AP) — ImmunoGen slipped 3 percent in Monday trading as Oppenheimer lowered its rating on the cancer drug developer, noting rapid gains in the company's share price over the last few months.
THE SPARK: Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Boris Peaker downgraded the stock to "Perform" from "Outperform." For about two weeks ImmunoGen shares have been trading above his price target of $14.
Peaker said the company's current stock price already reflects marketing approval and a successful launch for T-DM1, a cancer drug ImmunoGen helped develop. He said Wall Street will soon turn its attention to another experimental ImmunoGen drug, the experimental cancer treatment IMGN901. At this point it's difficult to tell how valuable that drug might be or how well it works, Peaker wrote.
THE BIG PICTURE: ImmunoGen and Swiss drugmaker Roche are developing T-DM1 as a treatment for breast cancer and other types of cancer. The drug combines the main ingredient in Roche's drug Herceptin a second drug and a chemical that keeps the drugs linked until they reach a cancer cell. The Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to make a decision on the use of T-DM1 in breast cancer by Feb. 26.
Roche is preparing to start other studies of T-DM1 as a breast cancer treatment and hopes to file for approval of T-DM1 as a treatment for gastric cancer in 2015.
The Waltham, Mass., company is developing IMGN901 on its own. In the second half of the year, ImmunoGen expects to report data from a mid-stage clinical trial of the drug as a treatment for small cell lung cancer. It is also studying IMGN901 as a treatment for multiple myeloma.
ImmunoGen Inc. does not have any approved drugs. It expects to report clinical trial data from its three most advanced drugs in 2013 and said it will begin human trials of a fourth drug.
SHARE ACTION: ImmunoGen shares fell 45 cents to $14.59 in afternoon trading. The stock is up 20 percent over the last month and was trading at its highest price in about four months. Shares of ImmunoGen have traded between $10.85 and $18.10 in the last year.