Ladenburg ups AcelRx Pharma PT to $10 from $7

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Ladenburg Thalmann raised its price target for AcelRx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACRX) to $10 from $7 after the FDA released briefing documents ahead of Friday’s meeting to discuss the company’s drug candidate, Dsuvia. The stock rose 36% to $3.59 on Oct. 10.

Dsuvia is indicated for the management of moderate-to-severe acute pain severe enough to require an opioid analgesic and for which alternative treatments are inadequate, in adult patients in a medically supervised setting.

“In our view, the documents could not be more supportive of Dsuvia,” writes analyst Michael Higgins. “The FDA’s briefing documents are, in our view, very positive on Dsuvia.”

Mr. Higgins said he expects the advisory committee to vote in support of Dsuvia’s efficacy, safety, proposed REMS and overall approval. “Given the lowered risk of development, we are increasing our price target from $7 to $10, including a less sceptical view of Zalviso’s review (NDA resubmission expected in November), which has a dramatic effect on our bottom line forecasts as AcelRx’s investment into its sales force would be incrementally higher,” he added.

Stephen Kilmer