HCW starts AzurRx at buy

H.C. Wainwright initiated coverage of AzurRx BioPharma (NASDAQ:AZRX) with a “buy” rating and $8 price target. The stock closed at $4.11 on July 24.

AzurRx is developing a novel recombinantly produced pancreatic lipase product candidate, MS1819, for the treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), a potentially severe condition that involves an inability to efficiently extract nutrients from food.

Analyst Raghuram Selvaraju writes that pancrelipase products provide a form of enzyme replacement therapy for EPI patients, but existing versions are difficult and expensive to produce, and also carry the potential risk of allergic reactions due to their porcine or bovine source, and the inconvenience of a high pill burden of up to 40 pills daily.

He said the advantages of MS1819 include an efficient, easily scalable production process based on recombinant technology; reduced risk of allergic reactions or immunogenicity; and substantially enhanced convenience of five-to-eight pills a day versus 25-to-40 pills required with existing products, with substantially smaller pill size.

“Thus, we believe MS1819 could become a best-in-class treatment for EPI,” Mr. Selvaraju added.