Roth starts Acer Therapeutics at buy; PT $70

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Roth Capital Partners launched coverage of Acer Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ACER) with a “buy” rating and price target of $70. The stock closed at $17.28 on Feb. 23.

Acer’s focuses on vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes (vEDS), a genetically inherited disease resulting from COL3A1 gene mutation, which leads to defects in the synthesis and secretion of collagen. vEDS is particularly devastating because it leads to premature death due to arterial, intestinal, or uterine rupture, with arterial rupture being the most common cause of death. It is estimated that vEDS affects some 4,200 individuals in the U.S.

Analyst Yasmeen Rahimi writes that at present, there are no treatment options for this debilitating disease and any therapeutic intervention that prevents arterial rupture and sudden death is tremendously valuable.

At present, the only therapeutic option on the horizon is Acer’s EDSIVO, known as Celiprolol, a drug that is approved in the EU as an anti-hypertensive medication in the class of beta-blockers. In the U.S., EDSIVO is a new chemical entity. Last September, Acer reported positive results from a pivotal trial of EDSIVO.

“Acer is well positioned for successful NDA submission expected in the first half of 2018 following an expedited regulatory pathway via the 505(b)(2) process to gain approval of EDSIVO for vEDS in the U.S.,” Ms. Rahimi said.