Leerink ups Dova to OP, price target to $32

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Leerink upgraded for Dova Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:DOVA) to “outperform” from “market perform” and raised its price target to $32 from $24 after competitor, Shionogi, announced results from a Phase 3 trial. Shares of Dova closed at $22.45 on Sept. 25.

Shionogi’s thrombopoietin (TPO) receptor agonist, lusutrombopag, demonstrated superiority to placebo and met the primary and all pre-specified important secondary endpoints in a global Phase 3 study to investigate the treatment of thrombocytopenia in patients with chronic liver disease undergoing non-emergent invasive procedures. 

Analyst Geoffrey Porges writes that numerically, Dova’s two international Phase 3 trials with avatrombopag showed better efficacy on their primary endpoint and greater difference from placebo than Shionogi’s. Dova also achieved its results with a five-day schedule, compared to a seven-day schedule for lusutrombopag.

“This leaves Shionogi with a drug that has a longer treatment duration (seven days vs. five days), inferior efficacy (regardless of differences in studies and populations, lusutrombopag’s efficacy claim will have a smaller number than avatrombopag’s), likely later approval, and inconsistent results between studies,” he added.