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What happened

Aclaris Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ACRS) had a fine Thursday, at least as far as its stock was concerned. The biotech’s shares enjoyed a nearly 6% lift in price, thanks largely to a generous price-target boost from an analyst.

So what

That professional is Stifel Financial‘s Alex Thompson, who upped his fair-value assessment of Aclaris to $20 per share. That’s exactly 25% higher than his previous estimation of $16. In making the change, Thompson maintained his buy recommendation on the biotech.

It wasn’t immediately clear why Thompson made his move, but it isn’t hard to be bullish on Aclaris’ future these days. The summer months saw the company move forward in the development of its leading investigational drug, zunsemetinib, which targets moderate to severe cases of rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis.

During the period, the company also delivered second-quarter results that beat — albeit slightly — analysts’ bottom-line expectations and came close to hitting the collective revenue estimate.

More encouragingly, the biotech said that it had nearly $211 million in cash, equivalents, and marketable securities as of the end of June. According to its forecasts, this is sufficient to fund operations through the end of 2025.

Now what

For clinical-stage biotechs like Aclaris, investors are hungry to see progress in key pipeline drug programs. They also like it when the funding that supports their investments is robust.

At the moment, Aclaris is ticking both boxes, giving it a decent chance to carry zunsemetinib through to the completion of its development process — not to mention the other products the company has in the pipeline.

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

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