A new partnership has Euro Pacific Canada analyst Doug Loe feeling bullish about Telesta Therapeutics (TSX:TST).
This morning, Telesta announced it had entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with French pharmaceutical company Ipsen to develop and commercialize MCNA for the treatment of high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer in all countries of the world, (except the U.S.) where Telesta is establishing commercial operations, including Canada, South Africa, Mexico, South Korea and Japan.
“Ipsen is the ideal commercial partner to bring MCNA to patients in the key pharmaceutical markets outside of the United States,” said CEO Dr. Michael Berendt. They are a recognized development and commercial leader in the field of uro-oncology and are committed to collaborating with our team to ensure that MCNA is brought forward as rapidly as possible to provide a therapeutic option for this underserved patient population. Their extensive knowledge of the regulatory and commercial landscape, their commercial presence in more than 100 countries across the globe, as well as their commitment to their core urology franchise, particularly bladder cancer, is why we are convinced that they will successfully bring MCNA to urologists and their patients, outside of the United States, and generate significant value for Telesta’s shareholders.”
Loe says the The (U.S.) $137-million deal, which includes US$10-million in upfront cash, further reduces Telesta’s balance sheet risk.
“Our model assumes this provides sufficient cash runway to fund all MCNA US regulatory activities and to fund initial staffing and commercial-scale MCNA manufacturing in preparation for FQ416 launch,” says Loe. “Our model did not previously embed deal economics other than for future MCNA royalty revenue that we will review below, so there is modest upside to our valuation based on now incorporating US$137M in MCNA regulatory/commercially-triggered payments. Though payments are likely to be lumpy, for modelling purposes we will assume fairly even allocation of milestone economics across most financial periods in our model out to F2025, beginning in F2018 when we assume EMA/EU approval and launch could transpire.”
In a research update to clients today, Loe maintained his “Speculative Buy” rating and raised his one-year target price from $1.50 to $1.70, implying a return of 347% at the time of publication.