Stifel starts KalVista Pharma at buy; PT $33

Stifel initiated coverage of KalVista Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KALV) with a “buy” rating and $33 price target. The stock closed at $18.76 on Oct. 12.

“Our bullish thesis on the stock centers around lead asset, KVD900, an oral plasma kallikrein inhibitor, which we think has a realistic shot at being a best-in-class acute therapy for hereditary angioedema (HAE),” writes analyst Paul Matteis.

He said hisoptimism stems from a “triangulation of pharmacokinetic data and various validated/predictive preclinical assays.”

In addition, he said clinical results from competitor, BioCryst, “corroborate the viability of the oral kallikrein inhibitor approach but simultaneously leave room for improvement.”

“As KalVista plans to initiate a Phase 2 trial by the end of 2018, the company may also pursue HAE attack prevention with KVD900 or another molecule behind it,” Mr. Matteis said. Acute HAE (even if the market shrinks some with the launch of Shire's, lanadelumab) is a more than $1-billion market, he added.

Stephen Kilmer