Shareholders of Regulus Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:RGLS) are having a rough day after the drug maker revealed the termination of two clinical programs, as well as the loss of a big pharma partner on the third.
Regulus said this morning that it will stop development of its most advanced treatment, RG-101, a microRNA treatment for hepatitis C, as well as preclinical drug, RGLS5040, for cholestatic liver disease. In addition, the clinical development of its nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) candidate AZD4076 (RG-125) is being halted by partner AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN).
Regulus Therapeutics shares reacted to the news, falling nearly 14% to $1.20, as of this writing.
CEO Jay Hagan said, “We are squarely focused on taking the steps necessary to advance our pipeline and continue building shareholder value. To that end, we recognize that we must be disciplined in our investment choices and focus our resources and capital on our most promising discovery and development programs, including the application of important development, regulatory and commercial considerations […] MicroRNA therapeutics have the potential to become an important new class of drugs with broad therapeutic application. Regulus’ focus will be in diseases with significant unmet medical need in organs to which we have been able to preferentially deliver oligonucleotide therapeutics effectively, such as the liver and kidney.”
On the ratings front, Regulus has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on May 8, Cantor analyst William Tanner reiterated a Buy rating on RGLS, with a price target of $7.00, which represents a potential upside of 400% from where the stock is currently trading. However, on May 5, Needham’s Alan Carr reiterated a Hold rating on the stock.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, William Tanner and Alan Carr have a yearly average return of 7.2% and 8.7% respectively. Tanner has a success rate of 53% and is ranked #1037 out of 4570 analysts, while Carr has a success rate of 45% and is ranked #546.
Overall, 2 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 2 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $6.50 which is 364% above where the stock closed last Friday.
Regulus Therapeutics, Inc. engages in the discovery and development of drugs targeting microRNAs. It is developing RG-101, which targets miR-122, a host factor for the hepatitis C virus infection.