Stifel ups Momenta Pharma to buy; PT $21

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Stifel upgraded Momenta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:MNTA) to “buy” from “hold” and raised its price target to $21 from $18. The stock closed at $16.35 on Feb. 21.

“As part of our stock call, we acknowledge two opposing forces,” writes analyst Alex Schwartz.

“Momenta’s Glatopa-40mg (generic Copaxone) launch is underway into a highly competitive marketplace and we are decreasing our mid/later-term projections; and Momenta’s novel pipeline is becoming increasingly valuable and we are explicitly adding M281 (an anti-FcRn antibody at a 15% probability-of-success) to our model,” he said.

Mr. Schwartz said January’s M281 data that showed a more than 80% reduction in the level of immunoglobulin G and clean safety profile is compelling.

“We further believe the company’s progress in its novel pipeline outweighs Copaxone’s market dynamics,” he added. In coming months, he expects investor interest to turn to M281 and the company’s novel pipeline that targets Fc-biology.