MLV Remains Positive On Conatus Despite Uncertainty Phase 2 Results

MLV’s healthcare analyst Vernon Bernardino is weighing in with some thoughts on Conatus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CNAT), as the company reported aggregated topline results from phase 1 and 2 studies with emricasan in organ-impaired patients. The analyst reiterates a Buy rating and a $16 price target on the stock.

Bernardino commented: “As significant reductions in key liver damage biomarkers were observed with highdose emricasan, we believe the results were positive. However, the stock pulled back 36% after market close, perhaps as investors factored in the likelihood of another clinical trial to evaluate higher doses, and a delay in emricasan’s approval for use in acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF).”

The analyst continued, “We believe the reaction overdone, as our new projection for 2019 approval vs. our prior 2018 approval has a negligible impact on our projected peak sales ($660MM vs. our prior $671MM) and results in a valuation impact of only $0.29/sh. We therefore recommend investors buy the stock on the weakness. We look for results expected 1Q15 from Ph 2 study in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), as the next catalyst for the stock. We believe the stock undervalued at current prices, and thus, reiterate our Buy rating.”

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Vernon Bernardino has a total average return of -11.1% and a 33.3% success rate. Bernardino is ranked #3271 out of 3434 analysts.

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