HCW starts Trevena at buy

H.C. Wainwright initiated coverage of Trevena (NASDAQ:TRVN) with a “buy” rating and $11 price target. The shares were changing hands at $6.85 at mid-day on Jan. 9.

“We believe Trevena's lead drug, oliceridine, retains the rapid and potent efficacy of conventional opioids, while addressing the long unmet need of a safer and more tolerable pain killer,” writes analyst Ed Arce.

In two prior Phase 2 pain trials (bunionectomy and abdominoplasty), Mr. Arce said oliceridine demonstrated comparable efficacy to morphine and with a faster onset of action, while inducing significantly fewer opioid-related adverse events, such as nausea, vomiting and hypoventilation.

With fast track and breakthrough therapy designations, “oliceridine represents, in our view, a unique pharmacologic profile in the pain space which offers benefits attractive to hospitals, physicians and patients,” he added.

Two registrational Phase 3 efficacy trials are due to readout in the first quarter this year, and “we believe that the outcome is de-risked not only because of the robust results in prior Phase 2 studies, but also because the primary endpoint is, in our view, a very low bar: analgesic efficacy better than placebo.”