HCW starts Inventiva at buy: PT €19

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H.C. Wainwright initiated coverage of France-based Inventiva (PSE:IVA) with a “buy” rating and price target of €19. The stock closed at €6.40 on Feb. 12.

Inventiva was spun out of Abbott Labs in 2012 and is focused on oral, small molecules for high unmet needs in fibrosis and lysosomal storage disorders.

The company, which completed an IPO in Paris in 2017, inherited a state-of-the-art R&D facility, with full-scale discovery capabilities currently targeting oncogenic targets, and has ongoing preclinical collaborations with AbbVie in inflammation and Boehringer Ingelheim in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Analyst Ed Arce writes that Inventiva also is developing two, wholly-owned assets: lanifibranor, a pan-PPAR (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor) agonist currently in two Phase 2b studies in systemic sclerosis (SSc) and in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH); and odiparcil, a substrate reduction therapy, currently in a Phase 2a study in Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome (MPS VI), with orphan drug designation in the U.S. and EU.

Lead drug candidate, lanifibranor, has demonstrated anti-fibrotic, anti-inflammatory and beneficial metabolic effects across several validated preclinical models as well as a prior Phase 2a study, he added.

Mr. Arce points to three potential stock catalysts this year: FASST trial data in SSc likely in February; IMPROVES trial data in MPS VI in the second half of 2019; and a likely U.S. IPO, ahead of next year's NATIVE trial data in NASH.

Abby Hardy