HCW ups Proteon Therapeutics to buy; PT $3

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H.C. Wainwright upgraded Proteon Therapeutics (NASDAQ:PRTO) to “buy” from “neutral” and raised its price target to $3 from $2.30.

“While investors may have written Proteon off after the failure of the PATENCY-1 study in December 2016, we believe that with the pivotal Phase 3 PATENCY-2 study on track to report top line results in the first quarter of 2019, the company warrants consideration,” writes analyst Swayampakula Ramakanth.

PATENCY-2 is a 603-patient study evaluating the use of Proteon’s lead product, vonapanitase, to extend fistula patency for hemodialysis in patients with chronic kidney disease.

Mr. Ramakanth said the company has met with the FDA and made several protocol amendments to PATENCY-2 that “in our view, significantly improve the study’s probability of success.”

In addition, he said that while the stock has remained range-bound over the last 18 months due to a lack of catalysts, “we believe that the upcoming PATENCY-2 results could serve as a significant catalyst for the stock.”

Stephen Kilmer