Cara Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:CARA) reported mixed top-line Ph2b results of oral CR845 in osteoarthritis (OA) with patients receiving the top 5mg dose showing a trend in mean weekly NRS pain score benefit at 8 weeks but only the patients with hip OA having a significant benefit.
In reaction, Cara investors are running for the hills, sending shares tumbling 28%.
“Developing effective analgesics that lack the high abuse potential and serious side effects of currently available drug classes remains the most pressing need in chronic pain,” said Dr. Ajay D. Wasan, M.D., M.Sc., Professor of Anesthesiology and Psychiatry, Vice Chair for Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). “The magnitude of the reduction in mean joint pain scores observed in all patients in this trial together with an encouraging safety profile underscores the significant potential of CR845 as a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of chronic inflammatory pain.”
Cara’s CMO Joseph Stauffer added, “We believe that the present trial of oral CR845 has highlighted the potential of a peripherally acting kappa agonist to provide clinical benefit in a chronic pain population and we’re pleased that statistical significance was achieved for the 5.0 mg dose in patients with OA of the hip […] The drug was observed to be well tolerated over the treatment period and this overall data set will inform both our dose selection and patient population in designing our next trial of oral CR845 in OA patients.”
On the ratings front, CARA has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released today, Piper Jaffray analyst Charles Duncan maintained a Buy rating on the stock, with a price target of $27, which represents a potential upside of 6% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, Janney Montgomery Scott’s Ken Trbovich downgraded the stock today to Hold and has a price target of $21.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Charles Duncan and Ken Trbovich have a yearly average return of 3.8% and 14.8% respectively. Duncan has a success rate of 50% and is ranked #1369 out of 4600 analysts, while Trbovich has a success rate of 41% and is ranked #880.
Sentiment on the street is mostly bullish on CARA stock. Out of 6 analysts who cover the stock, 5 suggest a Buy rating and one recommends to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $25.00, which represents a slight downside potential from current levels.
CARA Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage company, which engages in the research, development, and commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Its portfolio includes opioid-based products, anesthetic-based drugs, and analgesics that targets to alleviate itch and pain.