NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Shares of aTyr Pharma (LIFE) are jumping by 5.91% to $3.83 on heavy trading volume late Tuesday afternoon, as BMO Capital Markets initiated coverage of the stock with a "market perform" rating and $8 price target.
The San Diego-based biotherapeutics company is focused on the discovery and clinical development of medicines for patients suffering from severe and rare diseases.
While initial phase 1 and 2 data for the company's lead drug Resolaris points to potential benefit in facioscapulohumoral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), longer treatment duration is needed to confirm the drug's efficacy profile, BMO said.
FSHD is a disorder characterized by muscle weakness and wasting.
"We believe visibility into Resolaris' efficacy will come at the end of 2016, when initial extension data is expected to be released and patients should have ≥ 9 months exposure to Resolaris," the firm wrote in a note.
If the drug's clinical data can live up to the promise of preclinical data, which showed positive impact on both inflammation and fibrosis, BMO believes the drug has "blockbuster potential" in FSHD.
About 1.52 million of the company's shares were traded late this afternoon, higher than its average volume of 467,140 shares per day.