Investors love biotech stocks for the lottery ticket-like returns they can offer if a company strikes medical gold. Case in point: Arrowhead (NASDAQ:ARWR), whose shares are jumping nearly 50% on Thursday.
Why the excitement? The drug maker presented overwhelming data from its Phase 1/2 study of ARO-HBV for the treatment of chronic HBV. Data from the two lowest cohorts of 100mg and 200mg (n=8) demonstrated mean circulating HBsAg reductions of 2.0log10 on day 85 (100mg), and 1.4log10 on day 71 (200mg), with maximum reductions of 4.0log10. Importantly, all patients achieved >1.0log10 reductions. The drug has been generally well-tolerated across all cohorts (n=40), as of the last cutoff on August 24.
These results represent the first clinical data presented on ARO-HBV, which leverages Arrowhead’s proprietary Targeted RNAi Molecules (TRiMTM) platform. The company intends to submit a late-breaking abstract with additional clinical data to the Liver Meeting®, the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD), being held in November 2018.
Bruce Given, M.D., Arrowhead’s chief operating officer and head of R&D, commented, “These initial results from the first two multiple-ascending dose cohorts of the AROHBV1001 clinical study are encouraging and indicate that ARO-HBV is highly active. In addition, the drug appears to be generally well-tolerated, which is consistent with our experience to date with ARO-AAT, our TRiMTM enabled candidate for the treatment of Alpha-1 liver disease. We intend to submit late-breaking abstracts to the AASLD Liver Meeting for both ARO-HBV and ARO-AAT, and, if accepted, we look forward to presenting more complete data-sets, including additional dose levels and longer follow-up.”
When it comes to Wall Street’s bet, the odds are on this biotech player, with TipRanks analytics showcasing ARWR as a Strong Buy. Out of 6 analysts polled in the last 3 months, all 6 are bullish on Arrowhead stock. The new data will most likely send these bullish analysts scrambling to revise their price targets. Stay tuned! (See ARWR’s price targets and analyst ratings on TipRanks)