Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (CNAT) Shares Are Up 23% in Pre-Market After Liver Cirrhosis Drug Shows Promising Phase 2 Results


Shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CNAT) are up 23% in pre-market trading this morning after the company announced last night that they have achieved positive results with their drug, Emricasan.

Emricasan is Conatus Pharmaceuticals’ (NASDAQ:CNAT) drug intended to treat Liver Cirrhosis, and compared to the Placebo, the Phase 2 study showed that the drug was successful in reducing a patiants MELD score at a much higher rate (6 out of 9 compared to 2 out of 10 in the placebo).

“The double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 Liver Cirrhosis clinical trial was conducted at 26 U.S. sites and enrolled 86 patients with liver cirrhosis due to different etiologies, mild to moderate liver impairment and baseline MELD scores of 11 to 18,” the company explained. “In the double-blind and placebo-controlled stage, patients were randomized 1:1 to receive either 25 mg of emricasan or placebo orally twice daily for three months. The primary endpoint was change from baseline in cCK18. Secondary endpoints included changes from baseline in MELD and Child-Pugh scores, which include laboratory parameters associated with liver synthetic and excretory function, such as serum albumin levels, international normalized ratio (INR) and total bilirubin levels. In the open-label stage, all patients either on emricasan or placebo receive emricasan for an additional three months. Six-month data from patients who continued treatment and three-month data from placebo patients who crossed over to emricasan treatment are expected in the second quarter of 2016.”

It should be interesting to follow Wall Street’s reaction and see how shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CNAT) perform in trading today.The stock closed at $2.87 during the last trading session. It is down 47.72% since June 2, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 43.03%.

From a total of 3 analysts covering Conatus Pharma (NASDAQ:CNAT) stock, 3 rate it a “Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 0 a “Hold”. This means that 100% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $15.0 while the lowest target price is $6. The mean of all analyst targets is $10 which is 248.43% above today’s ($2.87) stock price. Conatus Pharma was the topic of 3 analyst reports since September 22, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Stifel Nicolaus maintained shares on November 5 with a “Buy” rating.

The institutional sentiment increased to 1.82 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.42, from 1.4 in 2015Q2. The ratio increased, as 3 funds sold all their Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc shares they owned while 8 reduced their positions. 7 funds bought stakes while 13 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 11.38 million shares which is 71.07% more than the previous share count of 6.65 million in 2015Q2.

Mpm Asset Management Llc holds 0.82% of its total portfolio in Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc, equating to 1.19 million shares. Iguana Healthcare Management Llc owns 300,000 shares representing 0.53% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Healthcor Management L.P. has 0.25% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 1.01 million shares. The Connecticut-based Ellington Management Group Llc has a total of 0.04% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Nine Chapters Capital Management Llc, a New Jersey-based fund reported 97,700 shares owned.

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a biotechnology firm focused on the development and commercialization of medicines to treat liver disease. The company has a market cap of $57.02 million. The Company’s lead compound, emricasan, is an orally active pan-caspase protease inhibitor designed to reduce the activity of human caspases, which are enzymes that mediate inflammation and apoptosis. It currently has negative earnings.