BTIG starts Momenta Pharma at neutral

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BTIG launched coverage of Momenta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:MNTA) with a “neutral” rating. The stock closed at $14.15 on March 15.

Analyst Thomas Schrader writes that Momenta’s transition from a generics company to a more conventional pipeline-focused biotechnology company, with a focus on antibody-related disease.

“Although we think the new direction is extremely promising and a good match for Momenta’s analytical focus, we see key proof-of-concept data as at least a year away and the stock isn’t truly cheap at greater than a $1-billion market cap,” he added.

Mr. Shrader said the company’s focus on the intravenous immunoglobulin market involves complex analytical validations that are at the core of Momenta and probably not accessible to most other companies.

“Each of the four main clinical programs seems related enough to allow synergy both in development and potentially commercialization,” he said, adding that all the programs seem focused on large, relatively poorly served markets.

Momenta also owns a legacy generics business that provides about $40-million annually to offset pipeline costs.

Stephen Kilmer