Is This the Turnaround That Achieve Life Sciences Has Waited For?

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Achieve Life Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: ACHV) saw its shares skyrocket on Tuesday after the company announced positive results from its smoking cessation study. This stock has been absolutely beaten up over the past few years, and this study seems to be just what the doctor ordered.

Excluding Tuesday’s move, Achieve shares were down about 72% in 2018 alone. Looking at the past 52 weeks, the stock was down 90%.

The results come from a series of drug metabolism, drug-drug interaction and transporter studies with cytisine, the company’s product candidate.

Overall the study demonstrated that cytisine has no clinically significant interaction with any of the hepatic enzymes commonly responsible for drug metabolism nor clinically significant interaction with drug transporters.

These results suggest that cytisine may be administered with other medications without the need to modify the dose of the co-administered drug.

For some quick background: cytisine is a plant-based alkaloid with a high binding affinity to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Two prior, large-scale Phase 3 clinical studies of cytisine, with favorable outcomes, have been successfully completed in over 2,000 patients.

Dr. Anthony Clarke, chief scientific officer of Achieve, commented:

We are very pleased with the results of these detailed studies. Smokers are as likely as anyone to take medications for a range of conditions. These results suggest that cytisine is unlikely to interfere with their ability to take other medications safely, and should help to minimize restrictions on the eligibility of subjects in our forthcoming clinical trials expected to commence later this year.

Shares of Achieve were last seen up nearly 22% at $4.63, with a consensus analyst price target of $0.90 and a 52-week range of $3.28 to $62.70.