Last week, AcelRx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACRX) presented results from its Phase 3 SAP302 trial for its pipeline drug ARX-04, designed to treat patients suffering from acute pain associated with trauma or injury, at the International Society for Burn Injuries (ISBI).
H.C. Wainwright analyst Ed Arce notes the value in this introduction of the drug as a possible agent for reducing pain in burn patients, particularly considering burns often result in the most excruciating and disfiguring types of trauma, destroying cells in skin layers causing a damage spiral to nerve fibers and zapping the body of fluid and electrolytes. Moreover, the analyst stresses that burns are arguably “one of the most complicated forms of acute pain,” expressing that the current treatment choices available face limits due to the high levels of pain, among other challenges.
Therefore, the analyst asserts, “Given these limitations, we believe that ARX-04’s sublingual mode of administration combined with rapid onset action and robust efficacy in patients suffering with severe pain with a mean baseline pain score of 8.1, makes is an ideal drug candidate for burn patients.”
“AcelRx intends to begin enrolling 315 postoperative patients for the Phase 3 IAP312 study in 3Q16, after finishing the updates on the hardware and software of the Zalviso system. All in all, we believe achieving these near-term milestones would begin to significantly improve lackluster investor expectations and sentiment on ACRX, thereby creating the potential for meaningful share appreciation,” the analyst concludes.
The firm intends to submit an NDA for its pipeline drug ARX-04 by the end of this year, and Arce remains “confident in a successful result for this study as well,” even in light of concerns that question the results of SAP302 as not valid, considering acute pain and chronic pain are evaluated by different tools.
Arce reiterates a Buy rating on ACRX with a price target of $7.00, which represents a nearly 122% increase from where the shares last closed.
According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, four-star analyst Ed Arce is ranked #997 out of 4,147 analysts. Arce has a 34% success rate and yields 4.5% in his yearly returns. However, when recommending ACRX, Arce faces a loss of 26.1% in average profits on the stock.
TipRanks analytics exhibit ACRX as a Strong Buy. Based on 4 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 3 rate a Buy on ACRX, while 1 maintains a Hold. The 12-month average price target stands at $11.25, marking a 256% upside from where the stock is currently trading.