Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CNAT), a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of novel medicines to treat liver disease, announced the appointment of Edward F. Smith III, Ph.D., as Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance

“We are pleased to welcome Edward to the Conatus senior management team,” said Steven J. Mento, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Conatus. “His substantial experience includes U.S. and European regulatory filings across multiple therapeutic areas and drug/device categories from preclinical development through post-approval label expansion. We believe that Edward’s broad familiarity with the drug development process, strategic understanding of regulatory pathways, and demonstrated proficiency in regulatory agency interactions will be highly relevant as we advance toward the initial opportunity for approval of emricasan in cirrhosis caused by nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).”

Dr. Smith has been Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Drug Safety at Zogenix, Inc., since October 2008, which he joined as Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs in April 2007. Before joining Zogenix, he served as Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs at Connetics Corp. from 2006 to 2007; Director, Regulatory Affairs at Nektar Therapeutics from 2004 to 2006; Director, Corporate Regulatory Affairs at Valeant Pharmaceuticals from 2001 to 2004; and Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Research & Development at Radiance Medical Systems, Inc., from 1999 to 2001. He previously held research and development positions at Mallinckrodt Inc. from 1992 to 1999, at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals from 1986 to 1992, and at Ciba-Geigy from 1984 to 1985. Dr. Smith held postdoctoral fellowships at the Institute of Pharmacology at the University of Koln in Germany, and the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Smith received a B.S. in biology from Montana State University, a Ph.D. in physiology from Thomas Jefferson University, and an M.B.A. from Washington University. He also holds a Regulatory Affairs Certification. (Original Source)

Shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals closed last Friday at $2.53, up $0.39 or 18.22%. CNAT has a 1-year high of $7.12 and a 1-year low of $1.40. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $1.99 and its 200-day moving average is $2.90.

On the ratings front, Conatus has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on March 11, FBR analyst Vernon Bernardino maintained a Buy rating on CNAT, with a price target of $16, which represents a potential upside of 532.4% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on March 10, Brean Murray Carret’s Difei Yang maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $13.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Vernon Bernardino and Difei Yang have a total average return of -20.7% and -17.1% respectively. Bernardino has a success rate of 29.7% and is ranked #3750 out of 3775 analysts, while Yang has a success rate of 28.8% and is ranked #3752.

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 $6.00 which is 137.2% above where the stock closed last Friday.