Chardan Capital Markets Upgrades Arbutus Biopharma (ABUS) to Buy Amid Arrowhead Hepatitis B Program Discontinuations

November 30, 2016 6:23 AM EST
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Price: $3.00 --0%

Rating Summary:
    3 Buy, 2 Hold, 0 Sell

Rating Trend: Up Up

Today's Overall Ratings:
    Up: 0 | Down: 0 | New: 0
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Chardan Capital Markets upgraded Arbutus Biopharma (NASDAQ: ABUS) from Neutral to Buy with a price target of $4.00 (from $3.00) after Arrowhead (Neutral) announced the discontinuation of all of its clinical RNAi programs, including the two HBV RNAi assets, ARC-520 and ARC-521. In light of the removal of the Arrowhead programs from development on EX-1 RNAi program discontinuations they increase Arbutus' market share in the HBV RNAi space from 17.5% to 47.5%.

Madhu Kumar commented, "Arrowhead's discontinuations, which are specific to the DPC platform, should have minimal read-across to Arbutus. The Arrowhead clinical hold for Heparc-2004 was due to deaths in "a nonclinical toxicology study in non-human primates using EX[-]1, the company's liver-targeted, intravenously administered delivery vehicle." EX-1 uses the DPC platform, which involves a second, non-therapeutic agent to promote delivery of the RNAi drug. In contrast, competing assets in the HBV RNAi space like ARB-1467 and ARB-1740 from Arbutus, which do not use DPC technology, should not face similar safety risks."

For an analyst ratings summary and ratings history on Arbutus Biopharma click here. For more ratings news on Arbutus Biopharma click here.

Shares of Arbutus Biopharma closed at $2.65 yesterday.

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