Needham starts Liquidia Technologies at buy; PT $30

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Needham initiated coverage of Liquidia Technologies (NASDAQ:LQDA) with a “buy” rating and $30 price target. The stock closed at $14.90 on August 17.

Liquidia is developing LIQ861, a differentiated inhaled treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). LIQ861 was designed to address key shortcomings of current inhaled PAH therapies (Tyvaso and Ventavis) that have limited their market potential.

Analyst Serge Belanger writes that LIQ861, a dry powder treprostinil formulation administered via a convenient dry powder inhaler device, has demonstrated the ability to deliver high doses of tresprostinil, without the adverse events associated with current nebulized products. 

LIQ861 is now under evaluation in a Phase 3 open-label safety trial that is expected to read-out in the first half of 2019, with an NDA filing expected by the end 2019. 

“We view LIQ861 as a relatively de-risked product candidate whose convenience and ability to safely deliver high drug doses addresses key limitations of current inhaled PAH therapies that should be attractive to a wide-range of PAH patients,” Mr. Belanger said.

Stephen Kilmer