Cantor analyst Elemer Piros initiated coverage on shares of Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ARWR), with a Buy rating and price target of $15, which represents a 100% increase from where the shares last closed.

In just two years, the number of people who have found cures from the four drugs approved for hepatitis C is just under 1 million across the globe. Following this success, researches are concentrating efforts to now eradicate the hepatitis B virus (HBV).

Piros thinks ARWR has already revealed significant reduction of viral load and key viral antigens in patients through the firm’s use of interference RNAs (RNAi). A key viral antigent considered the cause of observed immunosuppression is HBsAg. Piros notes, “In the RNAi field, Arrowhead’s platform provided the most robust inhibition in primates and humans to date.”

Just considering the market size alone, the drug maker’s target population reaches 15 million patients, particularly noting that chronic HBV infection is almost doubly as prevalent as HCV. Accordingly, Piros opines, “We assume that treating only 5% of the 3.4 million diagnosed population would represent a $5 billion market opportunity.”

Piros concludes, “We believe that Arrowhead will be successful in penetrating at least 10% of the HBV infected population. Under these assumptions, we estimate that the combined U.S. & EU peak sales potential of ARC-520/521 is ~$5 billion.”

As usual, we recommend taking analyst notes with a grain of salt. They are often successful in moving the stock price, but you always need to take things into perspective. Patrick Jobin is ranked #3,780 out of 3,990. According to TipRanks, analyst Elemer Piros is ranked #3,919 out of 4,124 analysts. Piros has a 36% success rate and faces a loss of 12.4% in his annual returns.

TipRanks analytics demonstrate ARWR as a Buy. 100% of analysts polled in the last 3 months by TipRanks rate a Buy on ARWR. The 12-month average price target stands at $10.00, marking a close to 32% upside from where the stock is currently trading.