ACAD1ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ACAD) announced the initiation of ADVANCE, a Phase II study to evaluate pimavanserin for adjunctive treatment in patients with negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Studies show that about 40 to 50 percent of schizophrenia patients suffer from prominent negative symptoms. There is currently no drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of these negative symptoms. As a selective serotonin inverse agonist (SSIA), pimavanserin is a new class of antipsychotic medication with a distinct mechanism of action targeting serotonergic 5-HT2A receptors while avoiding activity at dopamine and other receptors commonly targeted by other antipsychotics.

“Currently available treatments do not adequately address negative symptoms of schizophrenia, which are highly prevalent and contribute significantly to the long term disability and functional impairment of people with this disease,” said Serge Stankovic, M.D., M.S.P.H., ACADIA’s Executive Vice President, Head of Research and Development. “With its highly selective pharmacological profile, we believe pimavanserin may address this unmet need and improve clinical outcomes for these patients.” (Original Source)

Shares of ACADIA Pharmaceuticals closed yesterday at $29.06, up $0.25 or 0.87%. ACAD has a 1-year high of $42.49 and a 1-year low of $16.64. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $28.41 and its 200-day moving average is $33.11.

On the ratings front, ACAD stock has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on November 13, Leerink Swann analyst Paul Matteis reiterated a Hold rating on ACAD, with a price target of $29, which represents a slight downside potential from current levels. Separately, on November 8, Merrill Lynch’s Tazeen Ahmad reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $35.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Paul Matteis and Tazeen Ahmad have a yearly average return of 15% and 40.5% respectively. Matteis has a success rate of 63% and is ranked #198 out of 4214 analysts, while Ahmad has a success rate of 56% and is ranked #111.

Overall, 2 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 8 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 $43.00 which is 48.0% above where the stock closed yesterday.

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. engages in the research, development, and manufacture of pharmaceutical products. It caters to patients with central nervous system disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Schizophrenia, chronic pain, and Glaucoma. Its portfolio consists of Nuplazid, Pimavanserin, Adrenergic, and Muscarinic.