Ladenburg starts Dova Pharma at buy; PT $65

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Ladenburg Thalmann initiated coverage of Dova Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:DOVA) with a “buy” rating and $65 price target. The stock was quoted at $26.55 near the close on April 26.

Dova is focused on the development and commercialization of avatrombopag, an oral, small molecule thrombopoietin receptor agonist for the treatment of thrombocytopenia, a deficiency of platelets in the blood. Avatrombopag was acquired from Eisai in March 2016.

Analyst Matt Kaplan writes that avatrombopag’s NDA for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD) prior to a non-emergent minimally to moderately invasive medical procedure is currently under review by the FDA with a May 21 PDUFA date.

Avatrombopag successfully completed two Phase 2 and two Phase 3 clinical trials in patients with thrombocytopenia associated with CLD and an NDA was accepted in November 2017 and was granted Priority Review with a PDUFA date of May 21, 2018.

“We are impressed with the overall safety and efficacy profile avatrombopag demonstrated in the Phase 3 pivotal program and believe there is strong likelihood for FDA approval based on the strength of the Phase 3 data in this patient population,” Mr. Kaplan said.

He expects Dova to launch the product during the second quarter of 2018. “We estimate avatrombopag could generate more than $390-million in peak net revenues in the U.S. during 2027 in this indication.”

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Stephen Kilmer