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Oncternal Therapeutics: Opportunistic Investment In A ROR-1 Biotech

Apr. 01, 2021 2:45 AM ETOncternal Therapeutics, Inc. (ONCT)5 Comments
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Numenor Capital


  • Oncternal Therapeutics is one of the few companies with clinical assets targeting ROR-1.
  • Recent M&As for two ROR-1 companies by Merck and Boehringer Ingelheim have set a market value around $1B-$2B.
  • With upcoming clinical catalysts for their lead drug candidate, Oncternal is an opportunistic investment in a potential M&A over the next year or so.

Source: Company


Oncternal Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ONCT) is an early-stage biotechnology company developing a pipeline of medicines targeting ROR-1. Receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 1 (“ROR1”) is a tyrosine-protein kinase transmembrane receptor that is overexpressed in several cancers. The clinical data is still early; however, M&A has validated biopharma’s interest in the target and its potential to support a large business. Last year there were 2 billion dollar acquisitions for assets targeting ROR-1:

One caveat here is that these companies are developing antibody-drug conjugates for ROR-1 where Oncternal is developing a monoclonal antibody. However, early clinical data from Oncternal and the ROR-1 field in general have been exciting in terms of response rates and the potential patient impact is large in terms of lives and number of indications. Oncternal Therapeutics is developing a diverse pipeline with an anti-ROR1 antibody, cirmtuzumab, a small molecule targeting ETS oncoproteins, and a chimeric antigen receptor (“CAR”) T-cell also targeting ROR1.

The investment opportunity here is to purchase stock in a company with an interesting asset for a highly valued target, ROR-1. Oncternal is one of the handful of companies with clinical data in ROR-1, and one of the few not to be acquired. Current Phase 1/2 data for the company’s lead drug program as a combination therapeutic has been promising in mantle cell lymphoma (“MCL”) and acute lymphocytic leukemia (“ALL”), and Oncternal has several catalysts over the next few months that can validate these programs and the overall approach of developing mAbs against ROR-1.

Based on the market opportunity and comparables, we believe the company’s stock is undervalued. There are modality

This article was written by

Numenor Capital profile picture
Ladybug Ideas (fka as NC) focuses on value and events in life sciences. Finding unique business models, initially ignored markets, growing product offerings, and compelling teams. Version 2. ladybugideas7@gmail.com

Analyst’s Disclosure: I am/we are long ONCT. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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