Conatus Pharmaceuticals: NASH Trial Results Delay Is A Non-Issue, Says Roth Capital


In a research note published August 14, Roth Capital analyst Ed Arce affirmed a Buy rating on shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals (CNATwith a $19.00 price target, following the company’s second-quarter results, which included an EPS of ($0.34) versus Arce’s ($0.40) estimate and consensus of ($0.39). The company has also announced that the top-line results from its Phase 2 NAFLD/NASH clinical trial is being deferred to the first quarter of 2015.

Arce noted, “We believe the decision to defer top-line results of the NASH study to 1Q15, from 2H14, is based on prudent resource allocation, and little else. As such, we view the delay as a non-issue. Recall, Conatus is conducting an ongoing 40-patient, 28-day Phase II trial of emricasan in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients, including some with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The biomarker data results from this study will inform appropriate dose selection for future studies. Importantly, there are no established Phase III endpoints for NASH studies. As such, a 3-4 month delay for Phase II top-line results will have no impact on the emricasan development timeline in NASH. Conatus will proceed with Phase III development once an appropriate development pathway is defined.”

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Ed Arce has a total average return of 29.8% and a 60.0% success rate. Arce has a 0.2% average return when recommending CNAT, and is ranked #204 out of 3242 analysts.

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