Acadia rises as analyst considers sale possibility

May 13, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. advanced Monday after a Roth Capital Partners analyst said he thinks the company has become a more attractive target for a takeover.

THE SPARK: Analyst Robert Hazlett said the Food and Drug Administration's recent decision to allow Acadia to file for marketing approval of its drug pimavanserin based on just one late-stage clinical study will reduce the company's spending, speed up the potential approval of the drug, and make Acadia a more tempting target for potential acquirers.

The company did not immediately return a message left seeking comment.

THE BIG PICTURE: Acadia does not have any approved products. Its most advanced drug is pimavanserin, which is intended to treat psychosis associated with Parkinson's disease. The San Diego company reported successful results from a late-stage trial in November.

In April Acadia said the FDA agreed that results from previous clinical trials, including that late-stage study, and other clinical data were enough to support a filing for marketing approval.

THE ANALYSIS: Hazlett says the FDA's decision is unusual, and it means pimavanserin could be approved in late 2015. That's a year earlier than he previously expected. That also increases the possibility of a takeover of Acadia, he wrote, because there are not many "meaningful" drugs for central nervous system diseases.

Hazlett rates Acadia shares "Buy" with a price target of $20.

SHARE ACTION: Acadia stock gained 52 cents, or 4.3 percent, to $12.54 in afternoon trading. The shares are up about 50 percent since April 10, and their value has risen more than eightfold in the past 12 months.