William Blair initiated research coverage of Legend Biotech Corporation (LEGN $66.54), a commercial-stage company focused on the development and commercialization of cell therapies for the treatment of cancer.

In the base-case market scenario, analyst Sami Corwin estimated that the company would generate worldwide peak revenue of $4.92 billion in 2027 from its lead program Carvykti, an autologous CAR-T cell therapy that targets B-cell mature antigen (BCMA).

“Legend Biotech is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that was founded in 2014 with the goal of developing cell therapies for the treatment of hematological malignancies, solid tumors, and infectious diseases,” said Corwin. “The company’s pipeline consists of several CAR-T cell therapies for the treatment of solid tumors, including gastric, small-cell lung, colorectal, and hepatocellular cancer. Legend’s lead asset, Carvykti, is an autologous CAR-T cell therapy with directed specificity for BCMA for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Carvykti has demonstrated best-in-class efficacy in the late-line multiple myeloma setting and was approved in the United States, Europe, and Japan in 2022. Legend entered into a worldwide collaboration and license agreement with Janssen in December 2017 in which Legend received an upfront payment of $350 million with a 50/50 cost-sharing/profit-split arrangement for all major geographic markets except greater China, wherein Janssen and Legend will split costs and profits 30/70 for Carvykti. Janssen has guided for peak worldwide Carvykti revenue of $5 billion, about 50% of which will be recognized by Legend.

“But despite the robust efficacy that Carvykti has provided for late-line multiple myeloma patients, the drug’s commercial launch has been handicapped by various manufacturing issues,” added Corwin. “Legend and Janssen are addressing these facets and expect to be able to support about 10,000 patients annually by the end of 2025, which will be critical to achieving $5 billion in sales. Alongside a dramatic increase in manufacturing capabilities, a strong launch in the second-line setting is also necessary to achieve this peak revenue target, while emerging competition in the form of BCMA-targeted products that can be manufactured more consistently, or are off the shelf, has the possibility of testing Carvykti’s market penetration in the long term.”

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