MLV Remains Positive on Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc Following CMO Resignation


In a research report published Friday, MLV analyst Vernon Bernardino reiterated a Buy rating on Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CNAT) with a $16 price target, after the company announced the resignation of CMO Gary Burgess, which took the market by surprise, sending shares down 8.5 percent.

Bernardino noted, “Some investors concluded this (the resignation) a sign of safety and/or other issues w/emricasan. As the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) overseeing clinical trials met last month and no issues were disclosed, we believe the DSMB concluded that there are no safety issues w/emricasan, which is currently in five Ph 2 clinical trials, including in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and steatohepatitis (NALFD/NASH).”

Furhtermore, “We point to evaluation in >550 patients dosed to date w/no significant adverse events, confirms emricasan’s safety, and gives Conatus confidence in opening a dialog w/FDA about next steps. Therefore, although the stock is up 17% since the lows 1/15, we believe CNAT undervalued and look for readouts in 2015.”

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Vernon Bernardino has a total average return of -9.4% and a 38.9% success rate. Bernardino has a -9.3% average return when recommending CNAT, and is ranked #3379 out of 3505 analysts.

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