Titan Pharma shares jump 33% on initiation by A.G.P.

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Shares of Titan Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TTNP) jumped 33% to close at 32 cents on Oct. 18 after A.G.P./Alliance Global Partners initiated coverage of Titan with a “buy” rating and price target of 45 cents. Turnover was a heavier than normal 47 million shares.

“We see Titan Pharmaceuticals as well positioned in the sadly attractive area of opioid addiction treatment or opioid-use disorder (OUD),” writes analyst Ben Haynor of Alliance Global.

The opioid epidemic impacting the U.S. has caused opioid overdose deaths to go parabolic in recent years to the point they now represent the largest cause of death for Americans under the age of 50.

Mr. Haynor said Titan’s FDA-approved, six-month implant containing buprenorphine, known as Probuphine, compares favorably in many ways, such as patient compliance and cost, to the long-acting buprenorphine monthly depot injection recently launched by Indivior as well as to CAM2038, a weekly and monthly depot injection developed by Camurus and to be marketed by Braeburn in the U.S., should it gain FDA approval later this year.

“We believe Indivior’s (and potentially Braeburn’s) marketing efforts will aid Titan in the long run as the selling points of the depot injections are very similar to Probuphine. But Probuphine’s six-month duration has better patient compliance characteristics and is less expensive for maintenance treatment of OUD,” he added.

“Even with conservative estimates, we see Titan shares as undervalued,” Mr. Haynor said, adding that the company’s shares trading at about a $5-million enterprise value for a firm with an FDA approval in an attractive therapeutic area.

Michelle Carr