Market Overview

Jefferies Projects $573M Peak Sales For Cara Therapeutics' Lead Candidate

Jefferies Projects $573M Peak Sales For Cara Therapeutics' Lead Candidate

Cara Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: CARA), a biotech company developing non-opioid pain relief drugs, has earned a bullish review from Jefferies. 

The Analyst

Analyst Matthew Andrews initiated coverage of Cara with a Buy rating and $30 price target.

The Thesis

Cara's lead program is intravenous Korsuva, which is being tested in chronic kidney disease on hemodialysis-associated pruritis, or CKD-HD-aP, Andrews said in the initiation note. (See his track record here.)

The drug has a promising opportunity given that 180,000 patients in the U.S. suffer from the disease and there is no FDA-approved drug, the analyst said. 

Jefferies estimates peak penetration for Korsuva at 27 percent and peak-adjusted U.S. sales of $573 million.

The CR845 Phase 2/3 study for Korsuva met its primary endpoint by reducing the Worst Itch-Numeric Rating Scale, or WI-NRS, by 3.8 points at Week 8 from the baseline relative to a placebo, Andrew said. 

Based on the data, the candidate was granted breakthrough therapy designation.

Andrews forecast a high likelihood of success in two similar Phase 3 U.S. and global studies initiated in January and December.

The top-line data from the Phase 3 studies, due in mid-2019, is likely to be Cara's next key catalyst, the analyst said. 

A Phase 2/3 study of IV CR845 showed statistically significant pain relief with reduced opioid-related side-effects in post-operative acute pain, according to Jefferies. 

The Price Action

Cara shares have jumped about 70 percent year-to-date.

The shares were rallying 2.19 percent to $21.31 at the time of publication Thursday.

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Latest Ratings for CARA

Jul 2019MaintainsOverweight
May 2019MaintainsBuy
May 2019MaintainsBuy

View More Analyst Ratings for CARA
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Jefferies Matthew AndrewsAnalyst Color Price Target Initiation Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga


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