BTIG Affirms Ophthotech (OPHT) at 'Buy' Amid Recent Regeneron Data; Says Focus Should be on Fovista
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Analyst Ling Wang noted the following on Sunday:
- REGN2176-3 efficacy underperforms Fovista in both Phase I and Phase II. Development of a drug candidate should build on prior studies. Therefore, it should not be a huge surprise that REGN2176-3 failed in Phase II, given the lackluster Phase I efficacy.
- Meaningful differences could make or fail a drug. Fovista inhibits PDGF signaling at the ligand level, which theoretically could have advantages over targeting PDGFR-ß of REGN2176-3 (supported by literature), given the broader downstream ligand/receptor interactions impacted. Additionally, Fovista, an aptamer, may offer a better Adverse Events (AE) profile than antibody fragment. Potential protein-protein interaction in a small volume (50uL single injection) may negatively impact the efficacy of REGN2176-3 (with a less mean improvement in VA than Eylea alone).
- Competitor setback a long term positive. With one less competitor, one could argue higher Fovista peak sales assuming successful Phase III trial (we choose not to factor in our model currently), which suggests higher upside upon Phase III success.
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