Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc (AERI) Moves a Step Closer to Glaucoma Drug


After market close yesterday, Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AERI) announced positive 3-month top-line efficacy results from its pivotal phase III Mercury 2 trial for glaucoma eye drops Roclatan. With NDA filing expected in 1H18 for Roclatan, the only data read of interest for the U.S. market ahead of an approval decision will be the 12-month safety and efficacy readout from MERCURY 1 anticipated in Q3.

In reaction, H.C. Wainwright analyst Corey Davis reiterates a Buy rating on Aerie shares, with a price target of $69, which implies an upside of 31% from current levels.

Davis commented, “Based on the overwhelmingly positive data presented for Roclatan thus far, we don’t expect any major surprises with this long-term readout, but data from this read will provide evidence of durability and safety which could offer notable benefit to Aerie in the FDA AdComm meeting expected for Rhopressa and in the company’s commercial strategy for Roclatan. Aerie expects to have its 3 manufacturing facilities, including the new facility in Ireland to be fully operational within 6 months of potential FDA approval, for a launch which we anticipate in 2019. Aerie also expects to initiate the Phase 3 MERCURY 3 study of Roclatan head-to-head vs. fixed-dose combination Ganfort in the EU by the end of 2017, leading to possible filing in that geography in 2H19.”

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Corey Davis has a yearly average return of -0.9% and a 42% success rate. Davis has a -5.2% average return when recommending AERI, and is ranked #3617 out of 4567 analysts.

Out of the 11 analysts polled by TipRanks (in the past 12 months), 10 rate Aerie stock a Buy, while 1 rates the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 19%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $62.78.

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