Why HC Wainwright Is Bullish On This Stock's Hepatitis-B Pipeline

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  • Recently, Vir Biotechnology Inc VIR announced updates on its expansive hepatitis portfolio, including VIR-2218 which is part of a collaboration with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc ALNY, and VIR-3434, a monoclonal antibody (mAb). 
  • The key highlight of the event was the initial data presented from the Phase 2 MARCH trial of VIR-2218 + VIR-3434 in patients with chronic HBV.
  • "The combination therapy achieved hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) knockdown of more than 3 log10 IU/mL, an impressive result, particularly when compared to other combination and monotherapies studies, the analyst writes.
  • The analyst says that the positive outcome has increased confidence in the program. 
  • The analyst views Vir & Alnylam as emerging as leaders in the chronic HBV treatment space estimated to exceed $100 billion in aggregate revenues over the next 15 years.
  • The update on the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for sotrovimab, a monoclonal antibody (mAb) antiviral for early-stage COVID-19, can dent the enthusiasm.
  • Related: Why Did FDA Pull Authorization For GSK-Vir's COVID-19 Therapy? Read Here.
  • Ahead of trial readouts amid upside potential on the HBV program in 2H22 and 2023, HC Wainwright reiterates a Buy rating and the price target of $200 on the stock.
  • Price Action: VIR shares are down 3.12% at $19.72 during the market session on the last check Monday.
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