HCW assumes coverage of Galmed at buy

H.C. Wainwright analyst, Ed Arce, has assumed coverage of Galmed Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GLMD) with a “buy” rating and $22 price target. The stock closed at $4.44 on Friday.

Galmed is focused on the development of a sole drug candidate, aramchol, as a potentially disease-modifying treatment for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

“In our view, aramchol’s profile fits well in the larger early stages of disease (pre- and early-fibrotic NASH) with a mechanism of action that primarily functions to reduce steatosis, or fat accumulation in the liver (the original insult leading to pathogenesis), as well as potential improvements in metabolic and inflammatory parameters,” Mr. Arce writes.

“With fast track designation in NASH, a clean safety profile with once-daily oral administration, and an ongoing Phase 2b trial with interim safety data (DSMB recommendation to proceed) expected in the fourth quarter this year or early 2017, aramchol is well-positioned, in our view, to establish itself as the leading early-stage NASH drug candidate, ideal for potential combinations with anti-fibrotic or anti- cirrhotic therapies,” he added.