Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CNAT), a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of novel medicines to treat liver disease, announced the appointment of Mason M. Yamashita, M.D., Ph.D., as Vice President, Pharmacovigilance, reporting to David T. Hagerty, M.D., Executive Vice President, Clinical Development.

“We are pleased to welcome Mason to Conatus and to expand the capabilities of our Clinical Development team,” said Dr. Hagerty. “Mason brings a wealth of drug development and pharmacovigilance experience that strengthens our internal clinical development capabilities. His knowledge of clinical trial and regulatory reporting best practices and his successful record of building a pharmacovigilance function across a broad range of development programs provides an excellent background for leadership of this important function at Conatus. As Mason assumes responsibility for assessing and reporting on emricasan’s safety profile, we anticipate continued progress toward the initial registration of emricasan.”

Dr. Yamashita has been Executive Director (initially) and Vice President (most recently) of Clinical Development/Drug Safety since 2011 at Isis Pharmaceuticals. He was previously Senior Director of Clinical Development from 2010 to 2011 at Ambit Biosciences, Medical Director of Drug Safety Clinical Research from 2008 to 2010 and Associate Director of Drug Safety Clinical Research from 2007 to 2008 at Biogen Idec, Associate Medical Director of Clinical Development from 2006 to 2007 and Manager/Senior Manager of Preclinical Development from 2003 to 2006 at Neurocrine Biosciences, and Associate Director of Preclinical Development from 2001 to 2003 at CancerVax. He previously worked as a scientist at Signal Pharmaceuticals and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Yamashita received an M.D. from the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii, a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Hawaii. He completed an internship in 2001 at the University of California, San Diego, with a focus on psychiatry and neurology, and a fellowship in 1998 at The Scripps Research Institute with a focus on the development of cellular assays to test novel anti-tumor compounds. (Original Source)

Shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals closed last Friday at $5.95 . CNAT has a 1-year high of $11.74 and a 1-year low of $5.13. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $5.65 and its 200-day moving average is $6.31.

On the ratings front, Conatus Pharmaceuticals has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on June 9, Brean Murray Carret analyst Difei Yang reiterated a Buy rating on CNAT, with a price target of $13, which implies an upside of 118.5% from current levels. Separately, on April 27, MLV & Co.’s Vernon Bernardino maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $16.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Difei Yang and Vernon Bernardino have a total average return of 22.4% and -0.7% respectively. Yang has a success rate of 72.9% and is ranked #167 out of 3638 analysts, while Bernardino has a success rate of 43.5% and is ranked #2868.

The street is mostly Bullish on CNAT stock. Out of 5 analysts who cover the stock, 5 suggest a Buy rating . The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $12.00, which represents a potential upside of 101.7% from where the stock is currently trading.

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of novel medicines to treat liver disease.