BTIG starts CoLucid Pharma at buy

BTIG initiated coverage of CoLucid Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CLCD) with a “buy” rating and $58 price target, calling the company’s Lasmiditan drug candidate a game changer in acute migraine. The stock closed at $36.16 on Dec 21.

Analyst Robert Hazlett writes that Lasmiditan could bring unique pharmacology to the treatment of migraine. “With a differentiated profile, compared with standard-of-care triptans, we estimate Lasmiditan has a greater than $1-billion revenue potential.”

In September, CoLucid announced highly positive Phase 3 results for Lasmiditan in the acute treatment of migraine, with two-hour pain freedom rates of 28%-to- 32%, versus 15% for placebo, for both doses, and a rapid 30-minute onset seen for both pain and most bothersome additional symptom relief.

CoLucid is now over 50% enrolled in its large second pivotal trial, which should finish in mid-2017, with a filing for marketing approval in early 2018, and approval possible that year.

“If Lasmiditan's profile matches prior clinical work as expected, with efficacy comparable to the standard-of-care triptans, and with a novel mechanism of action that does carry material cardiovascular risk, Lasmiditan has the ability to not only address the material 13% of the 36 million U.S. migraineurs with cardiovascular risks in whom triptans are contraindicated, and the 60% which have cardiovascular risk factors, but it could expand the market for pharmaceutical therapy for migraines, as patients may no longer have to trade-off between CV risk/discomfort and pain relief,” Mr. Hazlett added.