Personal Finance

Here's Why Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. Stock Is Up Today

Stock Rising Getty
Stock Rising Getty

Image source: Getty Images.

What happened

Shares of ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACAD) popped just ahead of lunch on Wednesday, and have risen about 12.6% as of 3:31 p.m. EST. An unconfirmed rumor that Pfizer is interested in acquiring its set-to-explode antipsychotic drug, Nuplazid, is responsible for the pop.

ACAD Price data by YCharts .

So what

Although it's just an unconfirmed rumor, Pfizer has been in an acquisitive mood. Given its $14 billion offer for Medivation in August, mostly for prostate cancer drug Xtandi, it seems not to be worried about paying premiums, either.

Even tacking on a Pfizer-esque premium to ACADIA's modest $2.7 billion enterprise value , the company might be a value opportunity. Its lead drug, Nuplazid (pimavanserin), has a chance of treating a much wider range of patients, including the rapidly expanding population with Alzheimer's disease.

Now what

Since launching the freshly approved antipsychotic treatment for the underserved Parkinson's disease population in May, the company has yet to report meaningful revenue figures. The first shipments didn't go out until late May, and by the end of September, ACADIA had recorded just $1.9 million in deferred revenue related to its sales.

There's a worthwhile debate over just how well this antipsychotic can perform both in the Alzheimer's population and in the commercial setting as a whole. Statistically speaking, it significantly reduced patient psychosis (as measured by Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Nursing Home inventory scores), but by a slim margin.

There's reasonable doubt that the results seen in the 180-patient phase 2 study can be repeated in a larger study, which will likely be necessary to support an FDA application for expansion from Parkinson's to Alzheimer's.

On the other hand, there is a dearth of effective antipsychotics with minimal anticognitive side effects; additionally, a first approval tends to smooth out the path for a second. Looking a bit further ahead, clinical trials with Nuplazid in major depressive disorder and schizophrenia could push the stock even higher, regardless of Pfizer's intentions.

10 stocks we like better than ACADIA Pharmaceuticals

When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor , has tripled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now... and ACADIA Pharmaceuticals wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

Click here to learn about these picks!

*Stock Advisor returns as of January 4, 2017

Cory Renauer has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow Cory on Twitter @coryrenauer or LinkedIn for more biotech investing insight.

The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story


Other Topics


Latest Personal Finance Videos

    The Motley Fool

    Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off.

    Learn More