Stock Update (NASDAQ:AERI): Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc and GrayBug Announce Research Collaboration

Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AERI), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapies for the treatment of patients with glaucoma and other diseases of the eye, and GrayBug, Inc., a venture-stage pharmaceutical company developing microparticle controlled release drug delivery technologies for the treatment of ocular diseases including wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma, today announced a research collaboration and license agreement to deliver certain of Aerie’s preclinical product candidates to both the front and back of the eye using GrayBug’s proprietary technology.

Collaboration Highlights

  • Initially, the partnership will focus on evaluating the ability of GrayBug’s polymer-based delivery technology to provide multi-month drug release capability for an Aerie small molecule for wet AMD. Pre-clinical in vivo studies showed that Aerie’s AR-13154 molecule reduced wet AMD lesion size more than the market-leading product Eylea® (aflibercept). AR-13154 targets Rho Kinase, Janus Kinase 2, and platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta.
  • The research collaboration also provides Aerie with the ability to evaluate long-term sustained delivery of the active ingredient in RhopressaTM to the anterior chamber of the eye for patients with glaucoma and ocular hypertension.
  • The terms of the agreement provide for a one-year research collaboration and include an exclusive option for Aerie to obtain from GrayBug an exclusive license to use the GrayBug technology to develop and commercialize sustained-release versions of Aerie’s ophthalmic products.

“We are delighted to collaborate with GrayBug, and we believe their technologies will provide Aerie with the ability to make excellent progress in understanding the potential of Aerie’s small molecules to provide new treatment approaches to serious diseases of the eye. AR-13154 has shown impressive results pre-clinically, and we believe the best way to provide sustained delivery of this product to the back of the eye is through GrayBug’s unique delivery platform. We are also interested in further evaluating front of the eye applications for our glaucoma product set,” said Vicente Anido, Jr., Ph.D., Aerie’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Jeffrey L. Cleland, Ph.D., GrayBug Interim Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We believe Aerie is an excellent partner to apply our unique delivery technologies for practical application in the treatment of serious ocular diseases. GrayBug has an extensive background in polymer-based delivery technologies including the ability to formulate different release profiles and we believe we have unparalleled potential to drive sustained delivery of Aerie’s products to both the front and back of the eye.”

Under the terms of the license agreement, GrayBug will receive development milestone payments from Aerie and will receive royalty payments upon successful commercialization of any products arising from the collaboration. Initial commitments, including research and execution investments, are not considered material to Aerie’s financial statements at this time. (Original Source)

Shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals closed today at $17.60, down $0.55 or 3.03%, but rebound to $18.15 following the news. AERI has a 1-year high of $35.89 and a 1-year low of $8.84. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $18.59 and its 200-day moving average is $22.14.

On the ratings front, Aerie Pharmaceuticals has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on July 17, Brean Murray Carret analyst Difei Yang reiterated a Buy rating on AERI, with a price target of $33, which represents a potential upside of 84.5% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on June 19, Canaccord Genuity’s Corey Davis reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $40.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Difei Yang and Corey Davis have a total average return of 23.6% and 19.8% respectively. Yang has a success rate of 61.8% and is ranked #125 out of 3724 analysts, while Davis has a success rate of 61.4% and is ranked #156.

Overall, 2 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 3 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $18.00 which is 0.6% above where the stock opened today.

Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapies for the treatment of patients with glaucoma and other diseases of the eye.

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