SVB Leerink launched coverage of AN2 Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ANTX) with an “outperform” rating and price target of $27. The stock closed at $14.79 on April 18.
AN2 is a clinical-stage biotech company developing therapies for orphan infectious diseases by leveraging its expertise in boron chemistry. Lead agent, epetraborole, is an orally administered small molecule drug candidate designed to provide antimycobacterial activity by shutting down bacterial protein synthesis.
“We believe that the agent has the potential to address the nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) lung disease market by virtue of its novel mechanism of action and route of administration,” writes analyst Joseph Schwartz.
AN2 licensed epetraborole from its prior company, Anacor, which was acquired by Pfizer, and AN2 is now “poised to be fast followers in the MAC (mycobacterium avium complex) market that is being established by Insmed,” he added.
Grounded by clinical safety data previously conducted by GSK and Anacor, and promising preclinical data, Mr. Schwartz said AN2 aims to study epetraborole in refractory MAC patients first with the goal to expand the footprint into front-line MAC and non- MAC NTM lung diseases next.
AN2 plans to initiate a pivotal Phase 2/3 trial with 314 refractory MAC patients and report Phase 2 data in mid-2023 and Phase 3 data in mid-2024.