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 Ramot at Tel Aviv University Ltd., Tel Aviv University’stechnology transfer company, today announced a research collaboration and license agreement for a preclinical anti-beta amyloid small molecule product candidate for neuroprotection and dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD).
- The proprietary technology was originally developed by a team headed by Prof. Ehud Gazit of the George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences at Tel Aviv University. The technology is based on the combination of non-coded α-aminoisobutyric acid and aromatic recognition module to construct a novel chemical entity that is a safe and potent inhibitor of the formation of toxic amyloid assemblies. The collaboration will focus on evaluating Ramot’s preclinical anti-beta amyloid small molecule product candidate for neuroprotection in glaucoma and for reduction of geographic atrophy in advanced dry AMD. Beta amyloid is elevated in diseased tissues of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma and dry AMD. Neurotoxic amyloid beta molecular complexes, or oligomers, are considered to be a common pathological agent leading to degeneration of neurons and neurosensory cells.
- Under the terms of the license agreement, Aerie will be responsible for all research and development activities. Ramot will receive development milestone payments from Aerie and will receive royalty payments upon successful commercialization of any products arising from the collaboration. The terms of the agreement provide for a one-year research collaboration and include an exclusive option for Aerie to obtain from Ramot an exclusive license to pursue further development of this preclinical anti-beta amyloid product candidate for all ophthalmic indications, including both front and back of the eye. Initial commitments, including research and execution investments, are not considered material to Aerie’s financial statements at this time.
“We are delighted to collaborate with Ramot. We believe that their small molecule anti-beta amyloid product candidate may evolve into novel therapies for two areas of critical need in ophthalmology, including the ability to protect the optic nerve from further deterioration in glaucoma patients, and serving the sizeable dry AMD market. In addition, since we have the rights to all ophthalmic indications for this product candidate, we intend to investigate other possible applications for this compound including when dosed topically. This collaboration is yet another important step for Aerie as we continue to build our pipeline of product candidates in the ophthalmic pharmaceutical space,” said Vicente Anido, Jr., Ph.D., Aerie’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
“We believe Aerie is the right partner to explore the full potential of this exciting molecule in ophthalmology,” Shlomo Nimrodi, Ramot Chief Executive Officer, commented. “We have observed solid preclinical evidence that beta amyloid is a compelling target for both glaucoma and dry AMD, and we have great confidence that Aerie will pursue this opportunity with a high level of scientific acumen and diligence.” (Original Source)
Shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals closed today at $16.44, up $0.24 or 1.48%. 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 $16.88 and its 200-day moving average is $20.21.
On the ratings front, Aerie has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on August 6, Brean Murray Carret analyst Difei Yang maintained a Buy rating on AERI, with a price target of $33, which represents a potential upside of 100.6% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on August 5, Cantor Fitzgerald’s Caroline Corner reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $30.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Difei Yang and Caroline Corner have a total average return of 9.2% and -18.0% respectively. Yang has a success rate of 47.8% and is ranked #509 out of 3747 analysts, while Corner has a success rate of 25.9% and is ranked #3648.
The street is mostly Bullish on AERI stock. Out of 5 analysts who cover the stock, 5 suggest a Buy rating. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $33.33, which implies an upside of 102.6% from current levels.
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.