Morgan Joseph TriArtisan has reiterated its "Buy" recommendation for Prolor Biotech Inc. (AMEX: PBTH; TASE: PBTH) with a target price of $16 - 340% above yesterday's close on the American Stock Exchange, citing the company's recent achievements and the continuing progress of its pipeline
Morgan Joseph analysts Dr. Raghuram Selvaraju and Dr. Yi Chen say that the recent fall in Prolor's share price was overdone. On the basis of a meeting with Prolor director of preclinical development Dr. Gili Hart, they say that they are "enthused by the firm's scientific excellence and focus on expanding its product candidate portfolio by concentrating on compelling commercial opportunities."
The analysts believe that 2012 "should be a transformational year for Prolor" with one Phase III clinical trial, two Phase II trials, and one Phase 1 trial moving forward simultaneously. The company has enough cash to finance its operations through 2012, prompting them to lower their 2012 loss per share estimate to $0.30 from $0.37.
The analysts note that Prolor's human growth hormone (hGHCTP) program reported groundbreaking Phase II data, which showed the advantages of its technology platform. A one-year Phase II trial in 52-56 pediatric patients is due to begin by the end of 2011. Height increase velocity will probably be the primary efficacy endpoint. They expect the company to file for a Phase III clinical trial on 120-150 adult patients in the second half of 2012, with results due by mid-2014. Since the drug is based on a drug already on the market, they do not think that multiple Phase III trial will be necessary for approval.
Selvaraju and Chen also point to two Prolor drug candidates for treating hemophilia - a high-value market. "We believe that Prolor's Factor IXCTP and Factor VIIa-CTP candidates could enjoy an abbreviated path to market and potentially premium pricing. These agents are slated to enter Phase II development in 2012.
Prolor's share price fell 1.4% on AMEX yesterday to $3.59, giving a market cap of $196 million, but rose 11.5% by midday on the TASE today to NIS 15.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 30, 2011
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