HCW starts Dova Pharma at buy; PT $18

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H.C. Wainwright initiated coverage of Dova Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:DOVA) with a “buy” rating and price target of $18. The stock closed at $5.73 on Dec.19.

Dova is developing a new thrombopoietin receptor alpha agonist, DOPTELET, to boost platelet levels and treat severe thrombocytopenia in three different indications: (1) chronic liver disease (CLD); (2) chronic immune thrombocytopenia (cITP); (3) and chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia (CIT).

Analyst Joseph Pantginis writes that the company recently made an important shift to a commercial stage company when the FDA in May approved DOPTELET as the first therapeutic agent to target thrombocytopenia in CLD patients scheduled for a planned invasive clinical procedure.

In November, the FDA accepted for review the supplemental NDA for DOPTELET for the treatment of cITP, with a PDUFA date of June 30, 2019.

“Key to our thesis is that while the CLD launch may be disappointing to many, we believe that value and focus is not being placed on the likely label expansions into cITP and CIT,” Mr. Pantginis said.

“We believe this highlights a valuable disconnect for investors currently in the face of the current tumultuous markets,” he added.

In addition, he said the current therapeutic targets for DOPTELET represent an opportunity for Dova to establish itself as a thrombocytopenic franchise leader, with a multibillion-dollar global market opportunity.

Stephen Kilmer