BTIG starts Alector at buy; PT $28

BTIG initiated coverage of Alector (NASDAQ:ALEC) with a “buy” rating and $28 price target. The stock closed at $15.80 on Nov. 20.

Alector is focused on the immune system of the brain as a major player in neurodegenerative disease. “With more than10 rationally selected targets and several data readouts within the next three-to-15 months, the company is well-positioned for meaningful inflection points,” writes analyst Thomas Shrader.

Mr. Shrader said that operationally, Alector focuses on the development of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that modulate microglial activity across a range of neurodegenerative disorders, including frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

The company has two anti-SORT1 mAbs – AL001 and AL101 – in clinical or preclinical development for FTD. “We see the clinical readout of AL001 in FTD as a watershed event in the next round of neurodegenerative drug development,” he added.

The next two mAbs are AD-focused clinical stage modulators of immune checkpoints in the brain: AL002 is a TREM2 agonist while AL003 inhibits SIGLEC3, commonly called CD33. “Both are established risk factors for AD,” Mr. Shrader said.