Roth Capital Remains Positive On Conatus Despite Practical Difficulties In ACLF Trial

In a research report published Friday, Roth Capital analyst Ed Arce reiterated a Buy rating on Conatus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CNAT), but reduced his price target to $12 (from 19), which represents a potential upside of 96% from where the stock is currently trading. The report follows the news that the¬†company has stopped a clinical trial of a liver drug due to the “logistical challenges” of following patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure in the trial.

Arce observed, “Conatus reported results in the Phase 2b ACLF trial that we view as equivocal, given small patient numbers, poor patient compliance and follow-up, and dosing that is likely too low. We are encouraged that biomarker data continues to confirm its relation to liver disease progression, but patient response to emricasan (biomarker and clinical) did not further elucidate drug effect, in our view.”

The analyst added, “While we remain positive on the long-term potential of emricasan in liver disease, especially in liver fibrosis, we believe that these results likely make it more difficult for emricasan to ultimately get approved in ACLF.”

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Ed Arce has a total average return of 28.0% and a 53.2% success rate. Arce has a 32.1% average return when recommending CNAT, and is ranked #120 out of 3434 analysts.

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