BTIG starts Clementia at buy

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BTIG initiated coverage of Clementia Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CMTA) with a “buy” rating and 12-month price target of $32, saying the company’s lead molecule, palovarotene, presents a plethora of promising possibilities. The stock closed at $16.01 on August 30.

Clementia is focused initially on developing therapeutics for rare, debilitating genetic bone diseases.

Analyst Robert Hazlett writes that the company is beginning pivotal testing of palovarotene, a once-daily oral RARg agonist, which has received breakthrough designation from FDA for use in fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, an ultra-rare, devastating disease where abnormal bone grows in muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Clementia also is entering Phase 2/3 for multiple osteochondroma, a disease where abnormal bone buds off growth plates. Interim data for both could come in 2019, and approval in 2021, he added.

In addition, palovarotene is being developed for dry eye disease, where it has shown promising performance. Clementia also has a portfolio of RARγ agonists for conditions that involve irregular bone morphogenetic protein signaling.