Cantor cuts AcelRx PT to $4 from $9; maintains OW

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Cantor Fitzgerald reduced its price target for AcelRx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACX) to $4 from $9, but maintained its “overweight” rating, citing a revised ramp in Dsuvia sales, as well as recent acquisitions and an equity raise. The stock closed at 65 cents on Dec. 1.

Dsuvia is indicated for the management of acute pain in adults that is severe enough to require an opioid analgesic and for which alternative treatments are inadequate.

Analyst Brandon Folkes writes that the dilutive impacts were partially offset by exit multiple expansion, which we believe is warranted given that AcelRx has been diversifying its portfolio throughout this year. 

“AcelRx is investing in data generation, which we believe will drive uptake of Dsuvia,” he added. With a number of quarters of Dsuvia launch behind the company, “we believe investor focus can now shift to the meaningful order pull-through and the peak sales potential for the product,” Mr. Folkes said. 

He believes that Dsuvia offers an “advancement in delivery of adequate pain treatment by eliminating the need for an invasive and time-consuming IV set-up in the emergency room as well as in an outpatient, or post-surgery, setting.” 

Even though hospital launches take time, Mr. Folkes expects the “uptake of Dsuvia to drive revenue upside beyond the Street’s current estimates, which, in turn, could drive the stock higher from current levels.”

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