Aerie Pharmaceuticals Sees Stock Soar

- September 16th, 2016

It’s been called a stock to watch—and the performance of Aerie Pharmaceuticals has left some investors wide-eyed in recent days. The clinical stage company, which develops treatments and therapies for eye diseases, reported positive clinical trial data for an eye pressure drug on Wednesday, saw its share price hit a high for 2016, and announced a $50 million public offering of common stock shortly after.

It’s been called a stock to watch—and the performance of Aerie Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AERI) has left some investors wide-eyed in recent days. The clinical stage company, which develops treatments and therapies for eye diseases, reported positive clinical trial data for an eye pressure drug on Wednesday, saw its share price hit a high for 2016 and announced a US$50 million public offering of common stock shortly after.
The stock reached 34.69 on Wednesday, the highest it has been all year. The near 60 percent climb resulted after Aerie released the newest data on Roclatan, a drug candidate designed to lower intraocular pressure (IOP) in glaucoma patients.
The medication met its main endpoint in a phase III trial and proved superior to competitor products latanoprost and Aerie’s own Rhopressa. Roclatan combines these two drugs for a more effective therapy—in fact, its “IOP-lowering effect was one to three mmHG greater than monotherapy with either,” according to Wednesday’s press release.
Aerie will now advance Roclatan to the next stage of clinical trials and is on track to file for FDA approval by the end of 2017.
First, however, drug candidate Rhopressa will need to be approved. Aerie submitted a new drug application to the US FDA on September 6, 2016 and expects to receive the results by September of next year. The public offering of US$50 million of common stock shares, announced yesterday, is intended to facilitate marketing Rhopressa, as well as fund clinical trials for the drug in Japan.

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While such developments certainly appear promising, researcher Todd Campbell has offered a word of caution to investors. Writing for The Motley Fool, he warned that Roclatan’s next clinical trial is not guaranteed to yield positive results and Rhopressa’s FDA approval is still pending. Nevertheless, he deemed the the stock “one worth considering by risk-tolerant investors,” noting that even with recent growth, Aerie is still a small-cap company.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Chelsea Pratt, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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