Acadia Will Outperform, Worth $48/Share Says Leerink
Benzinga By Jim Swanson
April 16, 2015 9:39 AM
In a report published Thursday, Leerink analysts initiated coverage of ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACAD) with an Outperform rating and a price target of $48. The delay in receiving the pimavanserin NDA and the retirement of CEO Uli Hacksell has provided an attractive entry point for investors, the analysts said.
Acadia's shares are currently trading 19 percent below its previous highs due to the NDA delay and the retirement of its long-standing CEO. The analysts believe that the company's breakthrough drug NUPLAZID (pimavanserin) is likely to receive approval for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease Psychosis by mid-2016.
"Pimavanserin is a 5HT2a receptor inverse agonist with strong efficacy and an exceptionally clean safety profile, rendering it differentiated from other anti-psychotics which are either modestly effective in PDP, poorly tolerated, and/or increase morbidity/mortality in elderly patients," the analysts explained.
Unlike existing drugs for Parkinson's, pimavanserin does not affect with dopamine receptors, which could interfere with the working of other Parkinson's drugs. "Pimavanserin's efficacy was validated in a pivotal PDP study which met its primary endpoint and also showed statistically significant improvements in clinician and caregiver burden," the analysts added.
The drug could also prove effective in the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease Psychosis, for which the analysts expect the company to release clinical data in 1H16.