Roth starts Galectin at buy


Roth Capital Partners initiated coverage of Galectin Therapeutics (NASDAQ:GALT) with a “buy” rating and a 12-month price target of $8. The stock closed at $2.51 on Oct. 18.

“Our rating on Galectin shares is based on our confidence in the clinical success of the company's lead compound, GR-MD-02, for the treatment of liver cirrhosis,” writes analyst Yasmeen Rahimi.

“With no approved therapies available, cirrhosis could be a compelling opportunity for Galectin, allowing accelerated regulatory approval and a potentially premium pricing strategy,” she added.

Galectin's drug is an inhibitor of galectin-3, a protein involved in potentiating signals across inflammatory and fibrotic pathways. Numerous studies have revealed that galectin-3 is increased in patients with liver fibrosis, or scarring, which is the main driver of cirrhosis.

“In our eyes, the totality of data plus positive results from clinical and preclinical studies of GR-MD-02, support our high conviction for GR-MD-02's clinical success in cirrhosis,” Ms. Rahimi said.

Galectin is expected to report top-line data from a 52-week Phase 2 trial in 151 patients with NASH cirrhosis in early December.