JPM starts Clearside Biomedical at overweight

J.P. Morgan initiated coverage of of Clearside Biomedical (NASDAQ:CLSD) with an “overweight” rating and December 2017 price target of $19. The stock closed at $6.90 on Feb. 23.

“We view Clearside as an emerging/differentiated player in the ophthalmology space,” writes analyst Anupam Rama.

“Based on physician feedback, we believe that proof-of-concept for Clearside’s microinjected Zuprata to safely deliver the corticosteroid, triamcinolone acetonide, into the suprachoroidal space has been established in multiple indications,” he added.

In addition, he said that in two separate indications of uveitis and retinal vein occlusion, Zuprata has been associated with visual acuity gains and, in the latter indication, the potential to reduce treatment burden relative to standard of care. “Importantly, there have been no major safety concerns,” he added.

Looking to Clearside current stock price, “we believe this creates a compelling reward/risk profile going into yearend 2017/early 2018 Phase 3 PEACHTREE results of Zuprata in uveitis (the catalyst that has the highest probability of success in our model),” he said.

“We believe these data also should further validate Zuprata’s use in additional ophthalmic indications,” Mr. Rama pointed out.

Additional catalysts to monitor in 2017 include initial proof-of-concept data of Zuprata in diabetic macular edema, which is expected in the second half of 2017.