Arrowhead Research Continues Its Surge After Analyst Upgrade
Although the market has had a rough patch over the past few weeks, one stuck that has not suffered is Arrowhead Research (NASDAQ:ARWR). Since January 24, when the price closed at $10.80, shares have surged by approximately 43 percent as of the time of this writing. That is extremely impressive given the fact that a lot of other biotechs were selling off at the same time. Given Arrowhead’s platform, the stock price could be a runaway train.
Arrowhead Research is a biopharmaceutical company developing targeted RNAi therapeutics. The company is leveraging its proprietary drug delivery techniques to develop targeted drugs based on the RNA interference mechanism that efficiently silence disease-causing genes. The company’s pipeline is currently focused on treating chronic hepatitis B virus, obesity, and oncology through partner-based programs.
The company reported earnings Tuesday, February 4. Despite generating a net loss per share of ($0.28), analysts still think highly of the company. In fact, one of the most revered analysts, Piper Jaffray, raised its price target on Arrowhead Research from $12 to $20. The primary reason for the upgrade was that Piper Jaffray believes that Arrowhead’s flagship candidate, ARC-520, has blockbuster potential.
ARC-520 is an RNAi-based therapeutic used in the treatment of chronic Hepatitis B. Arrowhead has licensed access to three siRNA formats and advanced chemical modifications. This access means that Arrowhead can develop the most advanced and potent therapeutics for each of its desired targets. The licenses include the following:
- Non-exclusive license from Alnylam
- Non-exclusive license from City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Cancer
Arrowhead’s goal, with ARC-520, is to develop a functional cure, rather than just a treatment. In order to do this, the company began a Phase 1 study in mid-2013 and plans to follow that study with a Phase 2a trial in chronic HBV patients in Hong Kong.