Company

Bank

Analyst

Coverage

Opinion

Wk chg

3/16 cls

Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ANTH)

Cowen

Steve Scala

Downgrade

Neutral (from outperform)

-51%

$3.17

Deutsche Bank

Navdeep Singh

Price target

Buy

Piper Jaffray

Edward Tenthoff

Price target

Overweight

Summer Street

Carol Werther

Price target

Buy

Wedbush

Duane Nash

Price target

Outperform

Scala downgraded after Anthera said it would discontinue development of cardiovascular compound varespladib for all indications after it showed a lack of efficacy in the Phase III VISTA-16 trial to treat acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Anthera made the decision based on a recommendation from a DSMB (see BioCentury, March 12). Anthera's next most advanced product is blisibimod, which is in the Phase IIb PEARL-SC trial to treat systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Final data are expected in 2Q12. Scala believes the lupus market is "poorly defined," noting that recently launched lupus drugs "failed to meet the Street expectations with no improvement in sight." Varespladib is a secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) inhibitor and blisibimod is a peptide fusion protein that antagonizes BLyS (BAFF).