Acura Pharmaceuticals (ACUR) Bullish View Reiterated at FBR Following Aversion Licensing
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FBR Capital analyst Vernon Bernardino reiterated an Outperform rating and $10 price target on Acura Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ACUR), after the company and KemPharm announced an agreement for the incorporation of Acura's Aversion technology, which has abuse deterrent features (ADF), into KemPharm's orally-administered immediate release (IR) opioid products currently under development. Acura will receive an upfront cash payment of $3.5 million in exchange for KemPharm's right to develop and commercialize up to three IR product candidates, which includes two KemPharm opioid prodrugs currently under development and an option to develop additional products with Acura's technology for additional payments. Acura is also eligible to receive low single-digit sales-based royalty payments if any of these candidates become marketed. Near-term, KemPharm intends to apply Acura's Aversion technology in its lead drug candidate KP201/IR, an acetaminophen-free formulation of its IR hydrocodone product.
"We view the news as an incremental positive affirmation of the value of Acura's abuse-deterrent technologies, which besides Aversion, includes Impede, a tamper-resistant technology incorporated in Acura's marketed product Nexafed, and Limitx, a next-generation ADF technology incorporated in Acura's IR hyrdromorphone candidate that is making good progress," the analyst said.
Shares of Acura Pharmaceuticals closed at $1.18 yesterday.
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