BTIG cuts Prothena to neutral; discontinues PT

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BTIG downgraded Prothena (NASDAQ:PRTA) to “neutral” without a price target after the company discontinued development of NEOD001, an investigational antibody being evaluated to treat AL amyloidosis. The stock dropped 25% to $11.50 on April 23.

The decision was based on results of the Phase 2b PRONTO study and a futility analysis of the Phase 3 VITAL study, writes analyst Robert Hazlett.

Based on the results from the Phase 2b PRONTO study, which did not meet its primary or secondary endpoints, the company asked the independent data monitoring committee (DMC) of the Phase 3 VITAL study to review a futility analysis of the ongoing VITAL study.

The DMC recommended discontinuation of the VITAL study for futility. The company also decided to discontinue all development of NEOD001, including the VITAL study, as well as the open label extension studies.

Mr. Hazlett said the result was unexpected, as the PRONTO result led directly to the discontinuation of the entire NEOD001 program, a disappointing outcome.

“Despite programs that appear quite promising, plenty of cash on hand, a recent Celgene neurodegenerative disease deal in the bag, and underlying value to its programs, with important catalysts now farther out - into 2020 for a readout for its NEOD002 program in Parkinson’s - we move to the sidelines,” he added.

Jennifer Poland