JMP starts Clearside at OP

JMP Securities initiated coverage of Clearside Biomedical (NASDAQ:CLSD) with a “market outperform” rating and $21 price target. The stock was quoted at $7.86, up 32 cents, or 4%, at midday on May 25.

“We believe Clearside is developing transformative, elegant, and precise solutions to restore and preserve vision,” writes analyst Donald Ellis.

“By leveraging exclusive access to proprietary technology for suprachoroidal injection of drugs to access the retina and choroid of the eye, we believe clinicians can more effectively treat diseases like uveitis, retinal vein occlusion (RVO), diabetic macular edema (DME), and wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD)."

Mr. Ellis said that in early trials, Clearside’s lead product, CLS-TA, showed improvement in visual acuity in uveitis and RVO and potential to significantly reduce anti-VEGF dosing. The prevalence in U.S. markets for DME, uveitis, RVO, and AMD patients is about 4.9 million patients.

He said his $21 price target is based on a peer EV/sales ratio of 2.1 times on his risk-adjusted 2022 revenue estimate of $252-million.

Clearside has two programs in Phase 3 human clinical trials, with a third entering Phase 2 this year. Phase 3 results in uveitis are expected in early 2018, proof-of-concept results in DME in the second half this year, with Phase 2 enrollment starting in mid-2017.