HCW starts Anthera Pharma at buy

H.C. Wainwright initiated coverage of Anthera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ANTH) with a “buy” rating and $10 price target. The stock closed at $3.38 on Thursday.

“We believe that at this time Anthera’s pipeline and value proposition has bifurcated into two components of very different risk/reward,” writes analyst Andrew Fein.

He cites the company’s Blisibimod, the B-cell activation antagonist for systemic lupus (complex subject, complex trials, complex risk/reward profile) and Sollpura, an enzyme replacement mix for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, a condition found in up to 90% of Cystic Fibrosis patients (simple subject, simple trials, simple regulatory and commercial outlook).

Readouts from both of these Phase 3 programs are on tap for the next six months, with Blisibimod data expected first in the third quarter, followed by Sollpura data later in the fourth quarter, he added.

“While we are not making a call on the more complex lupus program, we elect to neglect it entirely while highlighting that even a probability-discounted consideration of the Sollpura Phase 3 program alone justifies a premium to the current trading level,” Mr. Fein said.

“Then, independently of any lupus theses and/or lupus study outcome in the third quarter, we still view Anthera’s current valuation as attractive ahead of the Sollpura top line data by year-end,” he added.