Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:CNAT) announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation to the company’s emricasan development program for the treatment of liver cirrhosis caused by nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Based on additional communications with the FDA recommending single-etiology clinical trials, the company plans to focus on advancing toward initial registration of emricasan for patients with NASH cirrhosis, with parallel development toward registration of emricasan for patients with NASH fibrosis, and supportive clinical trials addressing additional patient populations.

The Fast Track program provides for greater access to FDA to facilitate development and expedite review of drugs that have demonstrated the potential to treat serious or life-threatening conditions. “The data from our recently completed Portal Hypertension trial, showing clinically meaningful reductions in hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) in patients with severe portal hypertension after only one month of treatment with emricasan, were a key component of our Fast Track submission,” said Conatus co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer Steven J. Mento, Ph.D. “The Fast Track designation formalizes the recognition of emricasan’s potential to address a significant unmet medical need, but we believe its real importance is in the opportunity for even closer interactions with the FDA as we pursue the most efficient pathway to provide a potentially disease-modifying treatment to patients with NASH cirrhosis.” (Original Source)

Shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals closed yesterday at $1.6 . CNAT has a 1-year high of $8.46 and a 1-year low of $1.40. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $2.28 and its 200-day moving average is $3.62.

On the ratings front, Conatus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CNAT) has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on January 6, Roth Capital analyst Elemer Piros reiterated a Buy rating on CNAT, with a price target of $15, which implies an upside of 837.5% from current levels. Separately, on the same day, JMP’s Liisa Bayko maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $6.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Elemer Piros and Liisa Bayko have a total average return of -36.7% and 18.3% respectively. Piros has a success rate of 18.2% and is ranked #3562 out of 3600 analysts, while Bayko has a success rate of 47.5% and is ranked #241.

Overall, 4 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $7.50 which is 368.8% above where the stock closed yesterday.

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