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Galectin upgraded on NASH results by Wainwright

March 31, 2017

On March 28, Galectin Therapeutics Inc GALT provided an update on the progress of its lead program, the Phase 2b trial of GR-MD-02 in Non-Alcoholic Steato-Hepatitis patients with cirrhosis (NASH-CX).

Citing a “more positive view of the therapeutic potential of the mechanism of galectin-3 inhibition,” HC Wainwright’s Ed Arce upgraded the rating on Galectin from Neutral to Buy, while raising the price target from $0.60 to $3.50.

Upcoming Readout On Track

“With 71 patients having completed all 52 weeks of infusions with GRMD-02 and 155 patients finishing 26 weeks of infusions, the readout of NASH-CX remains on track for December 2017,” Arce wrote. He added that details of the trial design and supportive evidence of clinical activity from recent data in psoriasis and eczema had boosted confidence in a positive data readout.

There are only two competitors for Galectin’s GR-MD-02 for the treatment of NASH cirrhosis. These are emricasan, developed by Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc CNAT (Buy Rated) and licensed by Novartis AG (ADR) NVS, and selonsertib, by Gilead Sciences, Inc. GILD. The analyst pointed out, however, that Galectin is “the only one that reports data this year.”

Positive NASH-CX results represented an “all-important value inflection” for Galectin’s stock, Arce stated.

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