Arrowhead Research (ARWR),Spring Bank Pharma (SBPH) Enter Collaboration on Chronic HBV Treatments Development

October 6, 2016 7:32 AM EDT

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Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ARWR) and Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBPH), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of viral infections, cancer, and inflammatory diseases, today announced an agreement to perform collaborative studies on Arrowhead’s ARC-520 and Spring Bank’s SB 9200, for the treatment of chronic Hepatitis B (HBV). The companies plan to first conduct preclinical models with both agents together and then study the agents clinically in a cohort to be added to Arrowhead’s ongoing MONARCH Phase 2b study, in which patients will receive a dosing regimen that includes ARC-520, SB 9200, and an oral direct-acting antiviral.

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“The MONARCH Phase 2b combination study was specifically designed to be iterative in nature, allowing us to seamlessly add cohorts when additional novel agents are available to study in combination with ARC-520,” said Bruce Given, M.D., chief operating officer and head of R&D at Arrowhead. “We see ARC-520, which is designed to silence the production of all HBV gene products, as a potential backbone therapy for combinations. Spring Bank’s SB 9200 is a promising immunomodulatory agent with an interesting mechanism that we think has significant therapeutic potential in combination with ARC-520 and a NUC.”

“Our collaboration with our colleagues at Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals will be the first study of two completely novel agents in HBV, both focused on delivering a functional cure,” said Nezam Afdhal, M.D., chief medical officer at Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals. “We believe combining SB 9200 with Arrowhead’s ARC-520, along with an approved nucleotide(side) polymerase inhibitor, has the potential to lead to a functional cure. Together, we hope to demonstrate in the MONARCH trial that triple therapy can increase HBV functional cure rates with a more favorable tolerability profile and perhaps a shorter duration of treatment relative to current standard of care with interferon-based regimens.”

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