AcelRx: We See A Buying Opportunity One Week Before Zalviso PDUFA, Says Roth Capital

In a research report issued today, Roth Capital analyst Ed Arce affirmed a Buy rating on AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ACRX) with a $22 price target, which represents 121% upside to the current share price. The report comes ahead of July 27 Zalviso PDUFA date, which according to the analyst, “is likely to be approved one week from today”.

The following bullets contain some highlights from the report:

  • Across three Phase III trials, two placebo-controlled and one
    compared to the standard of care (SOC), intravenous (IV) patient-controlled
    analgesia (PCA) with morphine, Zalviso demonstrated strong consistent
    pain relief with a therapeutic onset quicker than IV morphine. In addition,
    Zalviso has a clean safety profile similar to placebo (except for itching) with
    a lower oxygen desaturation rate than other opioids.
  • Upon Zalviso’s approval, AcelRx will begin the formulary adoption process
    with hospital P&T committees nationwide. AcelRx expects adoption to take
    8-10 months at a typical hospital, with some as quickly as two months.
    Zalviso’s commercial launch is planned for January 2015, with 20 field reps
    on board and an additional 45 reps brought online throughout 1Q15.
  • We expect pricing to be announced soon after approval, and we currently
    model pricing at $175. We note that, based on our rNPV valuation model,
    for every incremental $25 in price, within the guided pricing range of $150-
    $300 per NanoTab cartridge, Zalviso’s value increases about $4 per share.

According to, analyst Ed Arce currently has an average return of 43.6% and a 38% success rate. Arce has a -12.6% average return when recommending ACRX, and is ranked #216 out of 3216 analysts.

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