Roth starts Anthera Pharma at buy; PT $10

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Roth Capital Partners initiated coverage of Anthera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ANTH) with a “buy” rating and $10 price target. The stock closed at $1.69 on Feb. 20.

The company's value driver, Sollpura, is an oral enzyme cocktail used as a digestive aid in patients with cystic fibrosis and pancreatic insufficiency.

Top line data from Sollpura's Phase 3 RESULT study are expected in the next month. “We believe that the risk/reward value equation going into this readout is skewed disproportionally to the long side, given prior clinical data, Phase 3 protocol design, Sollpura's potential commercial opportunity and Anthera's current neglected valuation,” writes analyst Jotin Marango.

He suggested that Anthera’s current valuation is a reflection of its past failures and related investor fatigue, rather than a reflection of the true risk/reward equation for the pending study readout.

Despite the narrow top-line miss in Sollpura's Phase 3 SOLUTION study in late 2016, Mr. Marango said the study still met several other prespecified endpoints, which “reinforce our confidence in the clinical viability of Sollpura and the odds of success of the ongoing Phase 3 RESULT study.”

In addition, a positive study would complete a fileable and approvable BLA, consisting of the four-week RESULT study plus the seven-week SOLUTION study plus extension datasets, he added.