Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals (ARWR): Speedy ARO-AAT Enrollment Signals Catalysts to Come, Says Cantor

Arrowhead Research (NASDAQ:ARWR) is a mover and shaker out on the Street today, with investors sparking the stock on an almost 16% upturn. Why the excitement? The company announced that it has completed enrollment of a Phase 1 clinical study of ARO-AAT, the company’s second generation subcutaneously administered RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutic being developed as a treatment for a rare genetic liver disease associated with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

Cantor analyst Elemer Piros explained the bullish reaction, noting, “We believe it is a strong signal that the company was able to complete Phase 1 enrollment in ~three months, with potential plans to present data at the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) Conference taking place November 9-13. Late-breakers for the conference are due from September 10-17. We believe the data presented will be an important read across to the other clinical programs, which also utilize the TRiM platform technology.”

Looking ahead, Piros highlights a number of upcoming catalysts for the company: “By 2019, Arrowhead could have three-four additional internal programs in development. In C4Q18, Arrowhead anticipated submitting CTAs for ARO-APOC3 (hypertriglyceridermia), ARO-ANG3 (hypertriglyceridermia), and ARO-ENaC (cystic fibrosis; which the company will further discuss at a summer investor event). In 2019, Arrowhead anticipates filing a CTA for AROHIF2 (renal cell carcinoma). Data from the Phase 1/2 study of ARO-HBV in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection could potentially become available in 2018 at AASLD.”

Net net, Piros reiterates an Overweight rating on Arrowhead shares, with a price target of $13, which represents a slight downside potential from current levels. (To watch Piros’ track record, click here)

Wall Street agrees with Piros that this drug maker is one to watch, as TipRanks analytics exhibit ARWR as a Strong Buy. Out of 6 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 5 are bullish on Arrowhead stock while 1 remains sidelined. Interestingly, however, the 12-month average price target stands at $9.13, marking a 32% upside from where the stock is currently trading.


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