AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ACRX) announced the appointment of Raffi Asadorian as chief financial officer, effective August 16, 2017. Mr. Asadorian brings over 25 years of finance, strategy and corporate development experience to AcelRx, most recently as chief financial officer at Amyris, a commercial-stage biotechnology company.

“I am thrilled to have Raffi join our team. He is an accomplished financial executive who has held leadership roles in large multinational, specialty pharmaceutical and life sciences companies,” said Vince Angotti, chief executive officer of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals. “His global financial and business leadership expertise along with significant transactional experience will be a valuable addition to AcelRx as we evolve into a commercial stage company.”

Prior to joining Amyris, Mr. Asadorian was the CFO for Unilabs, a private equity owned medical diagnostics company. At Unilabs, Mr. Asadorian led finance, corporate development, and investor relations, and was directly involved in defining and implementing the firm’s overall strategy. Mr. Asadorian started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) where, as a partner in its Transaction Services group, he advised clients on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and related transactions and financings. While at PwC he advised Barr Pharmaceuticals on their acquisition of PLIVA and, after its acquisition, Mr. Asadorian joined Barr as SVP and CFO of its PLIVA subsidiary. In that role he oversaw a global finance team and was responsible for Barr’s ex-US financial operations, until its acquisition by Teva Pharmaceuticals.

“This is an exciting time to join AcelRx, especially with multiple upcoming milestones in the US and EU that have the potential to transform the company,” commented Mr. Asadorian. “It is clear that the company has an experienced management team and a robust portfolio of late stage assets.  I look forward to contributing to this dynamic organization and its growth. ”

Shares of Acelrx Pharmaceuticals closed yesterday at $3.10, down $0.05 or -1.59%. ACRX has a 1-year high of $4.08 and a 1-year low of $1.95. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $2.32 and its 200-day moving average is $2.70.

On the ratings front, Acelrx Pharmaceuticals has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on July 14, Jefferies’ analyst Matthew Andrews assumed coverage with a Buy rating on ACRX and a price target of $7.00, which implies an upside of 126% from current levels. Separately, on May 22, H.C. Wainwright’s Ed Arce reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $7.00 as well.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Matthew Andrews and Ed Arce have a yearly average return of 11.4% and 29.1% respectively. Andrews has a success rate of 55% and is ranked #853 out of 4601 analysts, while Arce has a success rate of 54% and is ranked #105.

Sentiment on the street is mostly bullish on ACRX stock. Out of 5 analysts who cover the stock, 3 suggest a Buy rating and 2 recommend to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $7.00, which implies an upside of 126% from current levels.

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company, which engages in the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of moderate-to-severe acute pain. Its product candidates is comprised of DSUVIA, and ZALVISO, which both contains sufentanil as a therapeutic ingredient.