Stifel downgrades Nivalis to hold

Stifel downgraded Nivalis Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NVLS) to “ hold” from “buy” and slashed its price target to $3.25 from $16 after the company released Phase 2 data for cavosonstat in the treatment of patients with homozygous F508del CF that were stably on Orkambi. The stock closed at $6.25 on Monday.

“Based on the data released, there was no treatment effect at 12 weeks for either the 200mg or 400mg dose of the drug as measured by either improvements in FEV1 or reductions in sweat chloride levels,” writes analyst Thomas Shrader.

He said there was an improvement in BMI in both groups that reached statistical significance in a pooled analysis along with transient improvements in sweat chloride levels.

“These results were significantly less compelling than previous results in the SNO4 trial that treated a more difficult population,” he added. “Based on today’s news, we are basing our Nivalis price target on the expected cash at the end of the first quarter of 2017, when the ongoing SNO7 trial is complete.”