NEW YORK (AP) -- Ventrus Biosciences Inc. stock rose Thursday after an analyst said he expects the company to report good news for its hemorrhoid ointment in the coming weeks.
THE SPARK: Brean Murray Carret & Co. analyst Jonathan Aschoff started covering the stock with a "Buy" rating, and said he thinks Ventrus shares will rise to $30 over the next year. That's almost triple their current price.
Ventrus expects to report data from a late-stage trial of its drug ifanserin, or VEN 309, in late June or early July.
Aschoff said ifanserin could generate about a billion dollars in annual sales because the evidence shows it works, the market for hemorrhoid drugs is large, and there are no Food and Drug Administration-approved hemorrhoid drugs. He said ifanserin could also take sales away from over-the-counter treatments.
THE BIG PICTURE: Ventrus says ifanserin can reduce bleeding, itching, and pain. The company is running clinical trials of two other experimental drugs. One is a treatment for anal fissure, and the other is intended to treat fecal incontinence.
SHARE ACTION: Ventrus Biosciences shares added 56 cents, or 5.6 percent, to $10.60 in afternoon trading. The stock is up 10 percent since May 1 and has traded between $6.64 and $16.30 in the last 12 months.