Leerink starts Synlogic at OP

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Leerink launched coverage of Synlogic (NASDAQ:SYBX) with an “outperform” rating and $25 price target. The stock closed at $18.73 on Sept. 18.

Synlogic is a leader in the potentially revolutionary field of synthetic biology. The company’s “synthetic biotics” aim to treat diseases, which impact different organs, by offering alternative metabolic pathways, usually located in the gut.

“Just as a printed circuit board may provide alternative pathways for a computer to process information in the form of electrons, Synlogic’s agents may provide a parallel process for scavenging biological compounds, which become toxic to patients when they are in excess due to faults in the preprogramed natural manner,” writes analyst Joseph Schwartz.

Synlogic’s lead candidates are focused on addressing the enzyme pathways, which are dysfunctional in phenylketonuria and urea cycle disorder or hepatic encephalopathy.

While the metabolism of phenylalanine and ammonia takes place in the liver in healthy individuals, Mr. Schwartz said preclinical data in animals and in vitro models suggests that the company’s SYNB1618 and SYNB1020 compounds may safely and effectively translocate these functions into the gut.

“Demonstrating proof-of-concept in these first indications could provide exciting validation for a platform, which has potentially wide ranging applications in other areas of medicine,” he added.

In addition, he said AbbVie is collaborating with Synlogic to develop agents to treat inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s Disease and/or Ulcerative Colitis.