WB starts Biohaven at OP

William Blair launched coverage of Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding (NYSE:BHVN) with an “outperform” rating and fair value estimate of $46. The stock closed at $23.79 on May 26.

Biohaven is developing a portfolio of therapies to treat diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). Its pipeline includes therapies for the treatment of migraine, ataxia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and other orphan neurological disorders.

“With several large pharmaceutical companies pulling back from the CNS space, Biohaven has been able to in-license several novel agents, which together amount to an impressive CNS-focused pipeline, with potential best-in-class therapies targeting diseases with no approved products,” writes analyst Tim Lugo.

Its lead asset, rimegepant, is an orally dosed CGRP antagonist currently in pivotal studies for the acute treatment of migraine.

“We believe rimegepant is relatively de-risked, given the strength of data coming out of a large, over 800-person Phase 2 study conducted by the original developer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, including pain freedom two hours after dosing and key secondary endpoints of nausea, photophobia, and phonophobia. “We look for rimegepant’s Phase 3 to confirm this profile in the first half of 2018,” he added.

In addition to rimegepant, he said the company is developing another late-stage asset with trigriluzole in a Phase 2/3 trial for the treatment of ataxias. Top-line data for this program, initially studied in spinocerebellar ataxia, is expected in early 2018.