Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ARWR) and Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBPH) announced an agreement to perform collaborative studies on Arrowhead’s ARC-520 and Spring Bank’s SB 9200, for the treatment of chronic Hepatitis B (HBV). The companies plan to first conduct preclinical models with both agents together and then study the agents clinically in a cohort to be added to Arrowhead’s ongoing MONARCH Phase 2b study, in which patients will receive a dosing regimen that includes ARC-520, SB 9200, and an oral direct-acting antiviral.
“The MONARCH Phase 2b combination study was specifically designed to be iterative in nature, allowing us to seamlessly add cohorts when additional novel agents are available to study in combination with ARC-520,” said Bruce Given, M.D., chief operating officer and head of R&D at Arrowhead. “We see ARC-520, which is designed to silence the production of all HBV gene products, as a potential backbone therapy for combinations. Spring Bank’s SB 9200 is a promising immunomodulatory agent with an interesting mechanism that we think has significant therapeutic potential in combination with ARC-520 and a NUC.”
“Our collaboration with our colleagues at Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals will be the first study of two completely novel agents in HBV, both focused on delivering a functional cure,” said Nezam Afdhal, M.D., chief medical officer at Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals. “We believe combining SB 9200 with Arrowhead’s ARC-520, along with an approved nucleotide(side) polymerase inhibitor, has the potential to lead to a functional cure. Together, we hope to demonstrate in the MONARCH trial that triple therapy can increase HBV functional cure rates with a more favorable tolerability profile and perhaps a shorter duration of treatment relative to current standard of care with interferon-based regimens.” (Original Source)
Shares of Arrowhead Research closed yesterday at $7.52, up $0.23 or 3.16%. ARWR has a 1-year high of $8.22 and a 1-year low of $3.07. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $7.17 and its 200-day moving average is $6.01.
On the ratings front, Arrowhead has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on September 29, Chardan analyst Madhu Kumar reiterated a Buy rating on ARWR, with a price target of $10, which represents a potential upside of 33.0% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on the same day, Piper Jaffray’s Edward Tenthoff reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $10.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Madhu Kumar and Edward Tenthoff have a total average return of -3.3% and 0.2% respectively. Kumar has a success rate of 60.0% and is ranked #3301 out of 4190 analysts, while Tenthoff has a success rate of 38.5% and is ranked #2434.
The street is mostly Bullish on ARWR stock. Out of 4 analysts who cover the stock, 4 suggest a Buy rating . The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $15.00, which represents a potential upside of 99.5% from where the stock is currently trading.
Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Inc. engages as a biopharmaceutical company developing targeted RNAi therapeutics. Its pipeline includes clinical programs in chronic hepatitis B virus and partner based programs in obesity and oncology.