Stifel starts Clearside Biomedical at buy

Stifel has launched coverage of Clearside Biomedical (NASDAQ:CLSD) with a “buy” rating and 12-month target price of $13. The stock closed at $6.80 on Friday.

Clearside has developed a novel ocular injection platform to deliver drug optimally throughout the eye by way of the suprachroidal space (SCS).

“With exclusive claims to this drug delivery, the company has developed a balanced, late-stage pipeline for macular edema associated with both uveitis and retinal vein occlusion, which should begin to deliver catalysts in the second half of 2017,” writes analyst Annabel Samimy.

“Delivery to SCS has the potential to offer more optimal therapy through high bioavailability, even and efficient distribution throughout the eye, and rapid onset, with a better side effect profile,” she added.

Given the versatility of the platform, Ms. Samimy said Clearside is also developing compounds in the larger indications of wet AMD and glaucoma through a partnership with Santen, a major Japanese pharmaceutical company.

“With proof-of-concept in hand on its first compounds, Clearside may have tapped into the ideal ‘real estate’ to treat ocular diseases,” she added.