In a research report published today, MLV analyst Vernon Bernardino reiterated a Buy rating on shares of Galectin Therapeutics (NASDAQ:GALT) with a $16 price target, following final results from the company’s recently completed phase 1 evaluation of GR-MD-02 (GR02) in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with advanced fibrosis.

Bernardino observed, “Albeit a small study (n = 8), we continue to be encouraged by GR02’s safety and initial demonstration of activity. In particular, we are impressed with the significant reductions observed in alpha-2-macroglobulin (A2M) levels, which is increased with liver cirrhosis, diabetes, nephrotic syndrome, and pancreatitis. We believe the final data further confirm this activity, as shown by a comparison of dose vs. A2M serum levels, where 8 mg/kg was very active (p ranging from < 0.001 – 0.05), and correlated with FibroTest measurements, a widely-used measure of liver stiffness.”

The analyst concluded, “With GR02’s safety and dose-dependent activity demonstrated, as well as a dose with therapeutic potential now tested, we believe GALT’s GR02 development strategy on track for initiation of Ph 2, which will now include conduct of several concurrent trials, whose details we can now anticipate seeing in February. We believe the details could be a catalyst for the stock and therefore reiterate our BUY recommendation.”

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Vernon Bernardino has a total average return of -13.8% and a 28.0% success rate. Bernardino has a -48.2% average return when recommending GALT, and is ranked #3320 out of 3429 analysts.