Analysts at Deutsche Bank yesterday raised the target share price for Schwarz Pharma after positive data from two clinical studies of its neuropathic pain drug, lacoamide. The bank now anticipates a share price of 50 euros from 44 previously.

The US study of lacoamide 400mg described a placebo-equivalent safety profile for the compound, which also showed statistical significance in the primary endpoint of pain reduction. Neuropathic pain is a Holy Grail of drug development, and has been linked to a high compound attrition rate: in fact there are currently no available treatments for this condition – a deterioration of nerve function caused by uncontrolled blood sugar in diabetes.

A similar European study did not reach statistical significance, because the pain score of the placebo group also improved over the study period, and will likely not be used to support a regulatory application. However, Deutsche Bank says it will provide a good foundation for partnering lacoamide “as the drug benefits are visible in both trials.”

Overall, the analyst report refers to a 60% chance of success for lacoamide in both neuropathic pain – up substantially from 25% - and in its second epilepsy indication (50% from 25%).