Maxim starts Titan Pharma at buy; PT $4

Maxim Group launched coverage of Titan Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TTNP) with a “buy” rating and price target of $4. The stock closed at $1.44 on June 25.

Titan has developed Probuphine, an implantable formulation of low-dose buprenorphine that provides long-term treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). Probuphine has the potential to mitigate the stigma associated with daily dosing of other OUD therapies, like methadone or suboxone, and prevent peaks/troughs of drug levels, increase compliance, and get more subjects opioid free.

Probuphine was approved in 2016 and commercialized in 2017 with former partner, Braeburn Pharmaceuticals. Due to multiple factors, the product was returned to Titan in mid-2018. Titan then implemented a relaunch strategy targeting multiple OUD market segments and should over time be positioned to capture the success Probuphine was developed for. The potential for Probuphine will also be evaluated in two, Phase 4 post-marketing studies.

“Titan is a relaunch story,” writes analyst Jason McCarthy, noting that opioid use has grown into a crisis, particularly in the U.S.

“Available OUD options have challenges in compliance and other factors that leave the larger 80%-plus of OUD patients without help,” he said. “Probuphine could be the answer. The relaunch is early stage but there is a significant opportunity and as such, we see upside to the current valuation.”

Mr. McCarthy said he is modeling commercial revenues for Probuphine in OUD across three market segments: criminal justice system, academic institutions and healthcare providers/GPs, but is factoring in residential treatment centers.