Heron Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:HRTX), a biotechnology company focused on improving the lives of patients by developing best-in-class medicine that address major unmet medical needs, today reported fourth quarter and full year 2015 financial results and highlighted recent corporate progress.

Recent Corporate Progress:

  • In February 2016, Heron successfully demonstrated bioequivalence of HTX-019 to intravenous (IV) fosaprepitant in a study that included 100 healthy volunteers. In this study, HTX-019 demonstrated a substantially improved safety profile compared to IV fosaprepitant, which contains polysorbate 80. HTX-019, a polysorbate 80-free, IV formulation of the neurokinin-1 (NK1) receptor antagonist aprepitant, is being developed for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV).
  • In February 2016, Heron initiated a placebo-controlled, dose-finding, Phase 2 clinical trial of HTX-011 for the treatment of post-operative pain in approximately 100 patients undergoing abdominoplasty. HTX-011 is a long-acting formulation of the local anesthetic bupivacaine in a fixed-dose combination with the anti-inflammatory meloxicam formulated with Heron’s Biochronomer® drug delivery technology.
  • In January 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) informed Heron that it has not yet completed its review of the New Drug Application (NDA) of SUSTOL® (granisetron) Injection, extended release and was unable to take action by the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) goal date of January 17, 2016. The FDA stated that it is targeting taking action in late February 2016.

“While we were disappointed that the FDA was unable to complete the review of the SUSTOL NDA by the original January 2016 PDUFA goal date, we appreciate the work of the FDA and remain confident in the potential of SUSTOL as an important option for the prevention of CINV in patients with cancer,” commented Barry D. Quart, Chief Executive Officer of Heron Therapeutics. “Earlier this month, we achieved important milestones for our pipeline programs. We confirmed bioequivalence for HTX-019 compared with IV fosaprepitant and showed substantially improved tolerability of HTX-019, our polysorbate 80-free, IV formulation of aprepitant. In addition, we initiated our third Phase 2 study of HTX-011, which is evaluating HTX-011 in patients undergoing abdominoplasty.”

Results of Operations

As of December 31, 2015, Heron had approximately $131.2 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments, compared to $72.7 million as of December 31, 2014. The net increase in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments was primarily due to Heron’sJune 2015 public equity offering that resulted in total net proceeds to us of approximately$128.2 million, partially offset by net cash used in operating activities in 2015. Based on current operating plans and projections, Heron believes that its current working capital is sufficient to fund operations through 2016.

Heron’s net cash used for operating activities for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2015 was $23.2 million and $78.5 million, respectively, compared to net cash used for operating activities of $12.9 million and $60.3 million, respectively, for the same periods in 2014.

Heron’s net loss for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2015 was $31.2 million and$97.6 million, or $0.87 per share and $2.95 per share, respectively, compared to a net loss of$20.6 million and $76.4 million, or $0.71 per share and $2.87 per share, respectively, for the same periods in 2014.

The increases in net cash used for operating activities and net loss in 2015 as compared to 2014 were primarily due to costs incurred in preparation for the commercial launch of SUSTOL, as well as clinical and manufacturing costs related to our Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical studies for HTX-011 and costs associated with the development of HTX-019. (Original Source)

Shares of Heron Therapeutics closed yesterday at $18.33. HRTX has a 1-year high of $42.25 and a 1-year low of $10.60. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $21.62 and its 200-day moving average is $27.67.

On the ratings front, Heron has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on February 5, Cowen analyst Boris Peaker maintained a Buy rating on HRTX, with a price target of $47, which implies an upside of 156.4% from current levels. Separately, on January 15, Leerink Swann’s Jason Gerberry assigned a Buy rating to the stock .

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 13.7% and -4.9% respectively. Peaker has a success rate of 42.9% and is ranked #169 out of 3640 analysts, while Gerberry has a success rate of 38.6% and is ranked #3140.

Overall, 5 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 $47.00 which is 156.4% above where the stock closed yesterday.

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