Roth Capital’s healthcare analyst Elemer Piros weighed in today with his views on Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CNAT), after the company announced positive data on the early impact of emricasan, a potent pan-caspase inhibitor, on portal hypertension in the liver of cirrhosis patients.

Piros noted, “We would point out that the study was small (n=12) and treatment duration was relatively short (28 days) to allow for definite positive or negative conclusions. We’ve seen an indicator of activity, which in combination with potential long term impact on inflammation and fibrosis could contribute to the effectiveness of emricasan in liver disease.”

“Mechanism based biomarker, cCK18 was also reduced by 28-day treatment in the overall population (n=22; p<0.03). We need to confirm results from both < and > 12 mmHg subpopulations. It would be interesting, in our opinion, to see if there was a correlation between the magnitude of biomarker and HVPG reductions at the individual patient level,” the analyst added.

Piros reiterated a Buy rating on Conatus Pharmaceuticals shares, with a price target of $15, which represents a potential upside of 152% from where the stock is currently trading.

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Elemer Piros has a total average return of -17.9% and a 14.3% success rate. Piros is ranked #3632 out of 3766 analysts.

Out of the 6 analysts polled by TipRanks, 5 rate Conatus Pharmaceuticals stock a Buy, while 1 rates the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 110%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $12.50.

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