Stifel ups Tetraphase to buy

Stifel upgraded Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TTPH) to “buy” from “hold” and raised its price target to $15 from $8 after the company reported positive top-line results of the IGNITE4 clinical trial evaluating its eravacycline in patients with complicated intra-abdominal infections (cIAI). The stock closed at $6.90 on July 25.

Analyst Stephen Willey writes that the event serves as an “important de-risking event for establishing an initial pathway to commercialization in the U.S.”

He said eravacycline’s activity against gram-negative pathogens of epidemiological interest; coverage of gram-positive organisms, which can eliminate the need for combination therapy; and the ability to capitalize on the trend towards carbapenem-sparing, which has become an increasingly popular discussion topic among the treating infectious disease community, should provide a tailwind for utilization and adoption.

The company is still guiding towards a European MAA submission in the third quarter of 2017 and intends to file a NDA submission, including data from both IGNITE1 and IGNITE4, with FDA in the first quarter of 2018, Mr. Willey said. “Our model now assumes second half 2018 cIAI regulatory approvals in both jurisdictions.”