BTIG starts Matinas BioPharma at buy; PT $5

BTIG launched coverage of Matinas BioPharma Holdings (NYSE AMER:MTNB) with a “buy” rating and $5 price target. The stock closed at 94 cents on May 16.

Matinas is focused on the development of MAT9001, a novel prescription Omega-3 that is being developed for patients with elevated triglycerides.

Analyst Robert Hazlett writes that MAT9001 is a unique free fatty acid combination of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DPA (docosahexaenoic acid) that achieves substantially higher blood levels of EPA than Vascepa, and also contains modest amounts of the potent triglyceride-lowering DPA.

In a head-to-head study, MAT9001 showed superior triglyceride lowering versus Vascepa, among other measures, while not raising bad LDL cholesterol, he added.

With the Omega 3 class having more than a $10-billion potential, as with statins, “we believe there can be multiple winners, and late comers with improved profiles like MAT9001 can have blockbuster potential; we estimate MAT9001 peak revenue at more than $2-billion,” Mr. Hazlett said.

He said outreach to Matinas from lipid key opinion leasers began immediately after Vascepa’s data hit. Matinas has now formed a world-renowned SAB, including Dr. John Kastelein, Dr. Harold Bays, Dr. Christie Ballantyne, and Dr. Kevin Maki, to assist with MAT9001 development.

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