ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ACAD), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative medicines to address unmet medical needs in central nervous system (CNS) disorders, today announced that NUPLAZID™ (pimavanserin) is now available for prescription in the United States. NUPLAZID was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 29, 2016 for the treatment of hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease psychosis.
NUPLAZID is the first and only drug approved by the FDA for this indication. NUPLAZID is also the only drug approved by the FDA that preferentially targets 5-HT2A receptors. These receptors are thought to play an important role in Parkinson’s disease psychosis. The unique pharmacology of NUPLAZID establishes a new class of drug – selective serotonin inverse agonists (SSIA) – by not only preferentially targeting 5-HT2Areceptors but also avoiding activity at dopamine and other receptors commonly targeted by antipsychotics. Typical Parkinson’s disease therapy consists of drugs that stimulate dopamine to treat patients’ motor symptoms such as tremor, muscle rigidity and difficulty with walking. NUPLAZID does not interfere with patients’ dopaminergic therapy and therefore does not impair their motor function.
“I am delighted that we now have an effective and FDA-approved therapy for patients with hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease psychosis,” said Neal Hermanowicz, M.D., Health Sciences Clinical Professor, Neurology, UC Irvine School of Medicine and Director, UC Irvine Movement Disorders Program. “In the pivotal Phase III study of NUPLAZID, we observed significant reductions in the severity and frequency of hallucinations and delusions in patients with Parkinson’s disease psychosis. Importantly, these benefits were achieved without impairing motor function.”
According to the National Parkinson Foundation, about one million people in the United States and from four to six million people worldwide suffer from Parkinson’s disease. An estimated 40 percent of these patients have Parkinson’s disease psychosis, which is characterized by hallucinations and delusions, is associated with significant caregiver burden, and is a major reason for nursing home placement among Parkinson’s patients.
“We believe NUPLAZID fills an important therapeutic gap as the first FDA-approved treatment for patients afflicted with hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease psychosis,” said Steve Davis, ACADIA’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are excited to bring this new treatment option to patients living with the challenges of this debilitating condition.” (Original Source)
Shares of ACADIA Pharmaceuticals are up nearly 2% to $36.28 in pre-market trading. ACAD has a 1-year high of $51.99 and a 1-year low of $16.64. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $32.03 and its 200-day moving average is $28.24.
On the ratings front, ACAD has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on May 23, Piper Jaffray analyst Charles Duncan reiterated a Buy rating on ACAD, with a price target of $44, which implies an upside of 23.6% from current levels. Separately, on May 20, Leerink Swann’s Paul Matteis assigned a Hold rating to the stock .
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Charles Duncan and Paul Matteis have a total average return of -7.4% and -11.4% respectively. Duncan has a success rate of 39.4% and is ranked #3711 out of 3891 analysts, while Matteis has a success rate of 43.4% and is ranked #3720.
The street is mostly Bullish on ACAD stock. Out of 8 analysts who cover the stock, 7 suggest a Buy rating and one recommends to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $43.50, which represents a potential upside of 22.2% from where the stock is currently trading.
ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. engages in the research, development, and manufacture of pharmaceutical products. It caters to patients with central nervous system disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Schizophrenia, chronic pain, and Glaucoma. Its portfolio consists of Nuplazid, Pimavanserin, Adrenergic, and Muscarinic.