William Blair launched coverage of Minerva Neurosciences (NASDAQ:NERV) with an “outperform” rating and fair value estimate of $26. The stock closed at $8.11 on Sept. 17.
Minerva is developing therapies for mood disorders and central nervous system diseases. The company has four pipeline assets, three of which are in late-stage clinical development.
Roluperidone, a serotonin (5-HT) and sigma-receptor antagonist, is the company’s lead asset being evaluated in a placebo-controlled Phase 3 trial for management of the negative symptoms associated with schizophrenia, with top-line data is expected in the fourth quarter 2019, writes analyst Myles Minter.
“We acknowledge the risk in adding U.S. clinical sites and slightly tweaking the positive Phase 2b formulation, but remain confident in the patient screening process and risk/benefit profile of roluperidone as potentially the first FDA-approved therapy to treat negative symptoms of schizophrenia,” he added.