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Achieve Life Sciences' Shares Rise on Positive Clinical Data

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Achieve Life Sciences, Inc.’s (ACHV - Free Report) shares rallied 28.2% following the announcement that the company’s smoking cessation candidate, cytisine, showed no significant drug-drug interaction in clinical studies.

Data suggests that treatment with cytisine as an aid to smoking cessation does not require modification of the dosages of any co-administered drug.

The company acquired global (excluding Central & Eastern Europe plus certain other territories) development and commercialization rights to cytisine from Bulgaria-based Sopharma in 2009-10. Cytisine has been marketed under the brand name Tabexa in Central and Eastern Europe by Sopharma for over 20 years.

Achieve Life Sciences has significantly underperformed the industry so far this year. The stock has declined 62.1% against the industry’s 2.1% increase.

The company is evaluating cytisine in a series of drug metabolism, drug-drug interaction and transporter clinical studies. An investigational new drug application was accepted by the FDA in August last year.

The company claimed in the press release that cytisine showed favorable outcomes in two previously completed phase III studies – TASC and CASCAID – comparing the candidate to placebo and nicotine replacement therapy, respectively.

In February, Achieve Life Sciences announced preliminary phase I/II pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) study of cytisine. Data showed that more than half of the patients administered with cytisine achieved smoking abstinence at day 26.

We note that Pfizer Inc. (PFE - Free Report) markets Chantix (varenicline) for smoking cessation in adult smokers in the United States and Europe.

Other Players in the Industry

Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ENTA - Free Report) and Catalent, Inc. (CTLT - Free Report) are two stocks in the same industry. Both stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Enanta’s earnings per share estimates increased from $3.16 to $3.17 for 2018 and from $2.81 to $3.13 for 2019 over the past 30 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in three of the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 372.02%. The stock has rallied 93.2% so far this year.

Catalent’s earnings per share estimates moved up from $1.66 to $1.68 for 2018 and from $1.88 to $1.90 for 2019 over the past 60 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in all the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 17.05%. The stock has rallied 1.5% so far this year.

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