UBS Starts Covering Hythiam With a Buy

Says the company owns and licenses a promising new treatment that fights alcohol, cocaine, and methamphetamine addiction

UBS Financial started covering Hythiam (HYTM ) with a buy rating, explaining that the company owns and licenses a "very promising" new treatment for alcohol, cocaine, and methamphetamine addiction called Prometa protocol.

Analyst Donald Hooker sees more than $8 billion of market opportunity for Hythiam in which there will be little in the way of viable competition. Hooker is willing to assume that Prometa works, based on empirical observations of about 200 patients by clinicians that he considers credible. As more third party data becomes available in 2006, he will will be in a better position to gauge the efficacy of protocol.

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