Arrowhead Research Corp (NASDAQ:ARWR), a biopharmaceutical company developing targeted RNAi therapeutics, today announced that it dosed the first patient in Part B of a Phase 1 clinical trial of ARC-AAT. ARC-AAT is Arrowhead’s RNAi-based drug candidate for the treatment of liver disease associated with the rare genetic disorder alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) that was recently granted orphan drug designation by the United States Food and Drug Administration. The clinical trial is currently enrolling patients at a single center in Australia and the company intends to open additional sites for enrollment in Europe, pending regulatory permission to proceed. The company expects to complete enrollment of the Phase 1 study by the end of 2015.

“Dosing the first alpha-1 patient with ARC-AAT is a milestone for Arrowhead and for patients with AATD. The goal of treatment with ARC-AAT is to halt progression and possibly reverse the liver injury and fibrosis associated with AATD, which currently has no approved therapy short of liver transplant. This is becoming a larger clinical problem that we believe ARC-AAT holds great potential to address,” said Bruce D. Given, M.D., Arrowhead’s Chief Operating Officer. “We would also like to thank the Alpha-1 Foundation and The Alpha-1 Project, who have agreed to help support the development of ARC-AAT through funding and assistance with patient recruitment.”

The ongoing Phase 1 trial of ARC-AAT is a multi-center, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, single dose-escalation, first-in-human study to evaluate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of ARC-AAT and the effect on circulating AAT levels. The study has been enrolling in dose cohorts of six participants each, with participants randomized at a ratio of 2:1 (active:placebo) to receive a single intravenous injection of either ARC-AAT or placebo (normal saline). The study consists of two parts; Part A in healthy volunteers, which has been completed, and Part B to be conducted in patients with PiZZ genotype AATD. Dosing in patients begins at the highest dose level used in healthy volunteers and then continued dose escalation may proceed under the protocol. The study evaluates participants for 28 days following dosing, with additional follow-up if needed every 2 weeks until AAT levels return to baseline. (Original Source)

Shares of Arrowhead Research Corp. closed yesterday at $6.95. ARWR has a 1-year high of $17.42 and a 1-year low of $4.95. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $6.61 and its 200-day moving average is $6.93.

On the ratings front, Jefferies analyst Thomas Wei downgraded ARWR to Hold, with a price target of $9, in a report issued on April 14. The current price target represents a potential upside of 29.5% from where the stock is currently trading. According to, Wei has a total average return of 15.2%, a 62.6% success rate, and is ranked #218 out of 3688 analysts.

Arrowhead Research Corp is engaged in developing novel drugs to treat intractable diseases by silencing the genes. The Company’s drug candidate ARC-520 is designed to treat chronic hepatitis B infection.