Roth starts Immune Pharma at buy

Roth Capital Partners has initiated coverage of Immune Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IMNP) with a “buy” rating and $6 price target. The stock closed at $1.21 on Wednesday.

Immune is developing bertilimumab in combating multiple inflammatory diseases, with the ability for a companion diagnostic to help drive success, writes analyst Joseph Pantginis. The company is also developing a platform technology called NanomAbs, which could represent the next targeted approach to treating cancer, he added.

Bertilimumab is currently in two Phase 2 studies for bullous pemphigoid (BP) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Other planned indications the company intends to pursue are severe asthma, atopic dermatitis and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.

Mr. Pantginis said his model assigns value only to the two ongoing clinical programs in BP and UC. “For BP, we estimate a product launch in 2020, $250-million peak sales at five years post-launch and 15% probability of success,” he said. “For UC, we estimate a product launch in 2021, $700-million peak sales at five years post-launch and 15% probability of success.”

The NanomAbs platform offers the ability to develop nano-encapsulated cytotoxic agents, which target tumors specifically through antibodies linked to the particles. Mr. Pantginis said this approach is meant to specifically deliver a drug or drugs into tumor cells and it is a new approach to developing antibody-drug conjugates.

The company is currently in the preclinical stages of development of its first NanomAb candidate, trastuzumab-nano-paclitaxel, for breast cancer with first-in-human study initiation anticipated in 2017, he added.