Aclaris trading near cash levels after trial failure, says William Blair
William Blair analyst Tim Lugo maintains an Outperform rating on Aclaris Therapeutics after the company announced that its Phase II trial of ATI-502, a topical selective Janus associated kinase inhibitor for the treatment of alopecia areata, failed to achieve the primary or secondary endpoints. The analyst says that while he held no value for the topical ATI-502 in his stock valuation, he believes investors had held out hope for a positive update from the company's lead pipeline asset following the disappointing Eskata launch. Lugo has higher confidence in the readout of the ATI-501 program relative to the topical program given recent clinical data from Pfizer (PFE) and Concert (CNCE) and numerous reports of off-label usage of tofacitinib and ruxolitinib. Shares of Aclaris are trading near cash levels but its base business and pipeline "still commands value beyond these levels," Lugo tells investors in a research note. The stock in premarket trading is down 33% to $2.99.