BioTuesdays

Echelon cuts Acasti Pharma to sell; PT to 15 cents

Acasti Pharma

Echelon Wealth Partners downgraded Acasti Pharma (TSXV:ACST) to “sell” from “speculative buy” and slashed its price target to 15 cents (Canadian) from $1.40 after the company reported that its Phase 3 TRILOGY 2 trial with CaPre for the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia missed its primary endpoint.

Shares of Acasti tumbled 62 cents, or 67%, to close at 31 cents in heavy trading on Aug. 31.

The primary endpoint in the trial was a statistically significant reduction in serum triglyceride levels from baseline, compared with placebo, at a 12-week follow-up. Acasti’s Phase 3 TRILOGY 1 trial also missed its primary endpoint.

Analyst Doug Loe writes that Acasti will not be proceeding with an NDA filing and FDA review based on the combined TRILOGY 1 and 2 data set, and “our model will thus assume that CaPre no longer contributes value in our model.”

At last report, Acasti has net cash of $12.1-million. CaPre is the only clinical-stage asset in Acasti’s pipeline.

“We believe that the firm could be a reasonable public entity that an aspiring private drug developer could exploit as a go-public platform, or its cumulative tax losses could be of modest value to a net income-positive pharmaceutical firm seeking to mitigate its tax burden,” Mr. Loe said.

Sign up for the BioTuesdays weekly newsletter

Get the latest news on the healthcare industry’s corporate and clinical developments, executive moves, and market updates. Every Tuesday, in your inbox.