Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:PCRX) announced the appointment of two key individuals who will assume leadership roles within the company’s commercial organization. Thomas Slubyhas been named Vice President, Sales and Matthew Lehmann has been appointed Vice President, Marketing – Emerging Therapies; both individuals will report to Robert Weiland, Chief Commercial Officer.

Mr. Sluby is responsible for the coordination, management, and leadership of the Pacira sales organization, overseeing all aspects of sales execution and customer relations. Mr. Sluby will work closely with the commercial team on the development and implementation of sales and product strategies for EXPAREL® (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension).

Mr. Lehmann will be responsible for the development, implementation, and execution of market strategies and tactics, initially focusing on the EXPAREL nerve block launch subsequent to approval. Pacira is currently enrolling two Phase 3 studies in lower and upper extremity nerve blocks. Mr. Lehmann will also oversee development of the marketing and sales approaches for future EXPAREL indications and the launch of additional products in the Pacira pipeline.

“We are excited to add Tom and Matt, two seasoned pharmaceutical executives with long track records of success building and executing on comprehensive commercialization strategies, to the Pacira leadership team,” said James Scibetta, President of Pacira. “We expect these key additions to the commercial side of our business to significantly contribute to the success of EXPAREL infiltration in the acute care marketplace, while positioning the company for future success, beginning with the planned launch of EXPAREL for nerve block.”

Mr. Sluby joins Pacira from inVentiv Health, where he served as National Business Director, responsible for overseeing the sales and performance management of three national sales forces. Prior to this position, Mr. Sluby served as Senior Vice President of Global Client Relations for Taconic BioSciences, where he led a global sales and marketing team.  Mr. Sluby also held several management roles during a 15-year period at Eisai, Inc., including National Sales Director of Neurology, Gastroenterology and LTC/Hospital, where he drove revenue in therapeutic areas ranging from Alzheimer’s and acid reflux to epilepsy and low-molecular-weight heparin. (Original Source)

Shares of Pacira closed yesterday at $32.8, down $1.85 or -5.34%. PCRX has a 1-year high of $80.25 and a 1-year low of $31.08. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $37.16 and its 200-day moving average is $43.19.

On the ratings front, Pacira has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released yesterday, Wedbush analyst Liana Moussatos reiterated a Buy rating on PCRX, with a price target of $93, which implies an upside of 183.5% from current levels. Separately, on the same day, Mizuho’s Irina Rivkind Koffler reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $64.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Liana Moussatos and Irina Rivkind Koffler have a total average return of 12.1% and 19.8% respectively. Moussatos has a success rate of 41% and is ranked #224 out of 4180 analysts, while Koffler has a success rate of 51.5% and is ranked #63.

Overall, one research analyst has rated the stock with a Sell rating, 2 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 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 $64.33 which is 96.1% above where the stock closed yesterday.

Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company. It develops, commercializes, and manufactures pharmaceutical products for use in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. It develops pharmaceutical products based on its proprietary DepoFoam drug delivery technology. The company markets EXPAREL, a liposome injection of bupivacaine, an amide-type local anesthetic, indicated for administration into the surgical site to produce postsurgical analgesia; and DepoCyt(e), a liposomal formulation of the chemotherapeutic agent cytarabine indicated for the intrathecal treatment of lymphomatous meningitis, a cancer of the immune system. Its product pipeline comprise EXPAREL that has completed Phase II clinical trials for postsurgical analgesia-nerve block administration; DepoNSAID, which is in preclinical trials for the relief of that is in preclinical trials acute pain; and DepoTXA is currently in pre-clinical development, which is used to treat or prevent excessive blood loss during surgery by promoting hemostasis.