Leerink starts Nightstar at OP

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Leerink initiated coverage of Nightstar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NITE) with an “outperform” rating and $25 price target. The stock closed at $19 on Oct. 20.

Nightstar is harnessing the potentially curative properties of gene therapy to treat patients with rare retinal dystrophies.

Analyst Joseph Schwartz writes that the company’s late-stage candidate – NSR-REP1 – is poised to enter Phase 3 testing after showing preservation or improvement in visual acuity among choroideremia patients in a Phase 2 study.

“We believe Luxturna (for inherited retinal dystrophy due to biallelic mutations of RPE65 gene) could set a positive precedent at the FDA that may benefit subsequent gene therapy candidates, particularly those in rare ophthalmic indications, including Nightstar,” he added.