Ladenburg starts Catalyst at buy

Ladenburg Thalmann initiated coverage of Catalyst Biosciences (NASDAQ:CBIO) with a ‘buy” rating and $11.00 price target. The stock closed at $4.17 on June 5.

“We view Catalyst as an emerging hematology story with a unique approach to address a central question for hemophilia treatment: what is the best method to transition patients from products designed to treat bleeding events to a convenient prophylaxis strategy for preventing bleeding events?” writes analyst Kevin DeGeeter.

“Our upbeat investment thesis for shares of CBIO is based, at least in part, on an expectation that hemophilia patients place a particularly high premium on a product’s safety profile and factor replacement therapies are best positioned to demonstrate acceptable safety for prophylaxis,” he added.

Mr. DeGeeter said Catalyst’s pipeline is built on developing subcutaneous formulations of Factor VIIa and Factor IX for treating clinically important subsets of hemophilia A and hemophilia B patients that are not suitable for alternative prophylaxis strategies.

Regarding near-term news flow, he pointed to two potential catalysts in 2017: presentation of interim data from the Phase 1/2 proof-of-concept study of subcutaneous Factor IX prophylaxis in severe hemophilia B in the fourth quarter, and initiation of the Phase 2/3 study for subcutaneous Factor VIIa.