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5 Reasons Arrowhead Pharma Is A Hepatitis B Leader

5 Reasons Arrowhead Pharma Is A Hepatitis B Leader

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ARWR) reported positive data in a Phase II study of its lead product ARC-520 for the treatment of hepatitis B surface antigen [HBsAg] in HB envelope antigen-positive [HBeAg+] HBV patients. Chardan Capital’s Madhu Kumar initiated coverage of the company with a Buy rating and price target of $12.

Arrowhead Pharma is focusing on the development and commercialization of RNAi therapies for the treatment of various conditions, including chronic hepatitis B virus infection, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, thrombosis/angioedema, cardiovascular disease, and clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

Kumar outlined several catalysts driving the company’s growth prospects:

  1. In a phase IIa study, ARC-520 achieved >97 percent suppression of HBsAg that was persistent for around four weeks after a single 4 mg/kg dose in combination with daily nucleoside analog (NUC) therapy.
  2. Suppression of HBsAg is likely vital for durable HBV therapy. ARC-520 thus has the potential to generate a robust immune response against HBV.
  3. Nucleoside analog therapies transiently suppress HBV, driving the need for combination therapies like ARC-520 to achieve durable responses.
  4. ARC-520 is more advanced and likely more effective than competing HBV RNAi assets.
  5. Arrowhead Pharma may enter into a partnership soon. Such announcements with RNAi companies are associated with high alpha generation.

Kumar believes Arrowhead Pharma’s ARC-520 may be of interest to larger players like Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ).

Latest Ratings for ARWR

May 2020RBC CapitalInitiates Coverage OnOutperform
May 2020Cantor FitzgeraldReiteratesOverweight
Apr 2020Cantor FitzgeraldUpgradesNeutralOverweight

View More Analyst Ratings for ARWR
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