Mackie starts Promis at speculative buy

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Mackie Research Capital initiated coverage of Promis Neurosciences (TSX:PMN) with a “speculative buy” rating and price target of 50 cents, saying the company has a promising new path to target Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The stock closed at 25 cents on Sept. 18.

Analyst Andre Uddin writes that Promis’ lead monoclonal antibody drug candidate, PMN310, was designed to target toxic amyloid beta oligomers. Amyloid beta is a “sticky” peptide monomer, which clumps together to form toxic oligomers, which can in turn form plaque deposits.

He said there is a new amyloid beta theory which points to the disease being primarily caused by soluble toxic amyloid beta oligomers, compared with the classic theory that amyloid beta plaque is the primary cause, he added.

Mr. Uddin said this newer theory is strongly backed by the Phase 1b success of Biogen’s aducanumab, which targets toxic amyloid beta oligomers, as well as plaque, and the failures of Eli Lilly’s solanezumab and Merck’s verubecestat, which target amyloid beta monomers and their synthesis.

The Phase 1b results of aducanumab demonstrated a slowing down of cognitive decline in prodromal or mild AD patients, before major memory loss, in a roughly dose-dependent fashion, he added.

“We believe this newer AD theory creates a path to develop a unique disease-modifying Alzheimer’s treatment, PMN310, which has best-in-class potential,” Mr. Uddin said.