Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AERI), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class glaucoma therapies, today announced that on March 24, dosing commenced of the first patients enrolled in Mercury 2, the Company’s second Phase 3 registration trial of RoclatanTM (netarsudil/latanoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.02%/0.005%, a novel once-daily eye drop being tested for its ability to lower intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension. RoclatanTM is a fixed dose combination of Aerie product candidate RhopressaTM (netarsudil ophthalmic solution) 0.02% and latanoprost, the most widely prescribed PGA (prostaglandin analogue). Aerie estimates total enrollment of approximately 690 patients in this three-arm 90-day efficacy study, comparing once-daily RoclatanTM for superiority to each of its two components, all dosed once daily in the evening. Patients will be evaluated with maximum baseline IOPs ranging from above 20 to below 36 mmHg (millimeters of mercury). The first Phase 3 registration trial for RoclatanTM, named Mercury 1, commenced in September of 2015. Mercury 1, which is also a superiority trial with the same comparators as Mercury 2, is a 12-month safety trial with a 90-day interim efficacy readout. The Company also plans to commence in the first half of 2017 a third Phase 3 trial for RoclatanTM, named Mercury 3, which will be for the sole purpose of facilitating regulatory approval and commercialization in Europe.

“We are pleased to have commenced Mercury 2 on schedule, and we currently expect to read out topline 90-day efficacy data for the trial in the second quarter of 2017. Further, the Mercury 1 topline 90-day efficacy readout continues to be on track for the third quarter of 2016. Should both Mercury registration trials be successful, we expect to file the NDA for RoclatanTM in the second half of 2017, approximately one year after we anticipate filing the NDA for RhopressaTM,” said Vicente Anido, Jr., Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Aerie. (Original Source)

Shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals closed last Thursday at $11.97, up $0.15 or 1.27%. AERI has a 1-year high of $35.89 and a 1-year low of $8.84. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $14.38 and its 200-day moving average is $20.05.

On the ratings front, Aerie Pharmaceuticals has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on March 18, Brean Murray Carret analyst Difei Yang maintained a Buy rating on AERI, with a price target of $48, which represents a potential upside of 301.0% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on March 16, Cantor Fitzgerald’s Caroline Corner reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $40.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Difei Yang and Caroline Corner have a total average return of -21.9% and -25.2% respectively. Yang has a success rate of 22.7% and is ranked #3728 out of 3742 analysts, while Corner has a success rate of 25.5% and is ranked #3696.

The street is mostly Bullish on AERI stock. Out of 4 analysts who cover the stock, 4 suggest a Buy rating .

Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapies for the treatment of patients with glaucoma and other diseases of the eye.