Echelon ups ProMetic to speculative buy but cuts PT to 60 cents


Echelon Wealth Partners upgraded ProMetic Life Sciences (TSX:PLI) to “speculative buy” from “hold” but reduced its price target to 60 cents from $1 after the company announced plans for Phase 3 testing of its anti-fibrotic drug candidate, PBI-4050, initially in a rare genetic disorder, Alstrom Syndrome. The stock closed at 39 cents on Dec. 5.

Analyst Doug Loe writes that the company also is expected to separately advance PBI-4050 into Phase 3 testing in the larger idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis market within the next quarter or two. Enrollment in the Alstrom Syndrome trial is expected to begin by the second quarter of 2019.

“We stand by our medium-term investment thesis that still advises caution on ProMetic’s lingering financial risk and on extended timelines to FDA review for lead plasma-derived plasminogen formulation, Ryplazim,” he added.

Mr. Loe also said that he remains “positive about core scientific underpinnings of ProMetic’s capture affinity resin-purified plasma products program and on PBI-4050’s well-documented anti-fibrotic activity, and the relevance of that activity to several metabolic/fibrotic disease markets, independent of financial risk percolating in the background.”

Stephen Kilmer