Heron Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:HRTX), a biotechnology company focused on improving the lives of patients by developing best-in-class medicines that address major unmet medical needs, today announced that it has initiated a second Phase 2 clinical trial of HTX-011. HTX-011, which utilizes Heron’s proprietary Biochronomer® drug delivery technology, is a long-acting formulation of the local anesthetic bupivacaine in a fixed-dose combination with the anti-inflammatory meloxicam for the prevention of post-operative pain.

The placebo-controlled, dose-finding, Phase 2 clinical trial in approximately 60 patients undergoing inguinal hernia repair will evaluate the efficacy and safety of HTX-011, containing 200 mg or 400 mg of bupivacaine combined with meloxicam, compared to placebo. HTX-011 is also currently being evaluated in a placebo-controlled, dose-finding, Phase 2 clinical trial in patients undergoing bunionectomy. In a previously completed, placebo-controlled, Phase 1 clinical trial, HTX-011 achieved the desired pharmacokinetic profile for both bupivacaine and meloxicam, with therapeutically relevant plasma bupivacaine levels sustained for 2-3 days.

“We are extremely pleased to be expanding our Phase 2 development program for HTX-011 with the initiation of a study in patients undergoing hernia repair,” commented Barry D. Quart, Pharm.D., Chief Executive Officer of Heron. “Our ongoing clinical trial in patients undergoing bunionectomy is progressing extremely well, supporting the expansion of the HTX-011 Phase 2 development program. We look forward to reporting data from both the bunionectomy study and the hernia repair study in the second half of 2015.” (Original Source)

Shares of Heron Therapeutics Inc closed yesterday at $33.89. HRTX has a 1-year high of $36.81 and a 1-year low of $6.51. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $30.86 and its 200-day moving average is $17.01.

On the ratings front, Heron has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released yesterday, Cowen analyst Boris Peaker reiterated a Buy rating on HRTX, with a price target of $40, which implies an upside of 18.0% from current levels. Separately, on June 19, Leerink Swann’s Jason Gerberry reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $38.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Boris Peaker and Jason Gerberry have a total average return of 35.8% and 21.5% respectively. Peaker has a success rate of 57.9% and is ranked #39 out of 3713 analysts, while Gerberry has a success rate of 86.4% and is ranked #200.

Heron Therapeutics Incis a biotechnology company, developing products to address unmet medical needs. ItsproprietaryBiochronomer polymer-based drug delivery platform is designed to improve the therapeutic profile of injectable pharmaceuticals.