Roth reinitiates coverage of Pieris Pharma at buy

Roth Capital Partners reinitiated coverage of Pieris Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PIRS) with a “buy” rating and $6 price target. The stock closed at $1.70 on Thursday.

“We believe the company’s anticalin platform has broad potential for the long term and that the multiple partners, broad pipeline and flexibility of the platform provide investors with the potential for multiple catalysts along with partner-based non-dilutive funding,” writes analyst Joseph Pantginis.

Anticalin proteins are a new class of therapeutic proteins derived from lipocalins, which are naturally occurring, small, low molecular weight proteins that bind and transport a variety of exogenous and endogenous ligands. 

Within the past year, the company strengthened its balance sheet, signed its first immuno-oncology collaboration, announced clinical data for lead asset, PRS-080, achieved milestones with partners and saw a partnered product with Daiichi enter the clinic.

PRS-080 is an anticalin designed to target hepcidin for the treatment of functional iron deficiency in anemic patients with chronic kidney disease. 

“We believe the anticalin protein offers broad and flexible potential by not only being able to adapt the type of proteins but also target both large and orphan markets,” Mr. Pantginis said. “These novel therapeutic proteins can be engineered toward single or multiple targets and the company will also be leveraging the company’s resources as it broadens its development into immuno-oncology.”