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Erasca rises as Morgan Stanley upgrades on newly added asset

  • Erasca ERAS shares added ~7% in the morning hours Friday after Morgan Stanley upgraded the cancer-focused biotech to Overweight from Equal Weight, highlighting the RAF inhibitor naporafenib the company recently licensed from Novartis NVS NVSEF.
  • The analyst Jeffrey Hung argues that naporafenib is a pivotal-ready candidate that has shown proof of concept and undergone testing in more than 500 patients.
  • Hung sees additional upside potential for ERAS, given the readouts expected for the company's solid tumor candidates ERAS-007 and ERAS-601 in 2023.
  • "Although the data are likely to be relatively early with a greater focus on safety, we are encouraged by the addition of naporafenib as it has demonstrated proof-of-concept and been dosed in >500 patients," Hung wrote, reaffirming the price target on Erasca ERAS at $15.
  • Pfizer PFE and Eli Lilly LLY have teamed up with Erasca ERAS to run combination trials for ERAS-007 and ERAS-601, respectively.