Celyad S.A.: Initiation of Research Coverage

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

William Blair & Company initiated research coverage of Celyad S.A. (CYAD $23.58), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of both autologous and allogeneic cell-based therapies to treat solid and hematologic (liquid) tumors.

Analyst Raju Prasad said, “Celyad is focused on the development of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies. Its lead candidate, CYAD-01, is an autologous CAR with NKG2D, a naturally occurring activating receptor of natural killer cells transduced on T lymphocytes using a retroviral vector. Celyad believes this mechanism can target cancer by: 1) direct tumor cell killing activity; 2) immune-modulation toward a less suppressive immune function; 3) anti-angiogenesis, or preventing new blood vessels from forming around a tumor; and 4) long-term anti-tumor immunological memory to minimize the potential for relapse. In our view, the platform has several advantages, including a product profile that could be suitable for repeat injections, the ability to treat multiple tumor types using one CAR construct, activity in the absence of preconditioning, and the potential to show an adaptive immune response. CYAD-01 has shown preclinical efficacy against a number of tumor types, including multiple myeloma, ovarian carcinoma, and lymphoma, and is in a Phase I trial in colorectal cancer and relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia.”

Prasad continued, “In addition, the company has built a substantial intellectual property estate surrounding the ‘off-the-shelf,’ or allogeneic, delivery of adoptive T-cell therapy. This method allows the use of cells that are collected from healthy donors rather than from the patient, which requires the blockade of the T-cell receptor to reduce the potential for graft vs. host disease, a substantially limiting side effect that occurs when the immune system recognizes a foreign agent. In July 2018, the IND application for Celyad’s first allogeneic candidate, CYAD-101, received FDA acceptance, and we anticipate the initiation of a clinical trial by year end.”

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Current Ratings Distribution (as of 10/29/18)

Coverage Universe
Outperform (Buy): 67%
Market Perform (Hold): 32%
Underperform (Sell): 1%

Inv. Banking Relationships*
Outperform (Buy): 22%
Market Perform (Hold): 8%
Underperform (Sell): 0%

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