Pasadena Biotech Pharma Company Stock Jumps after Drug Test Results Released

Published : Tuesday, September 11, 2018 | 4:59 PM

Shares in Pasadena-based biotechnology firm Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc. rose over 40 percent one day after the company announced positive results of testing a new drug that would treat Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.

Arrrowhead’s stock price shot up 40.3 percent to $19.74 by Friday’s close of trading, according to a Los Angeles Business Journal report.

On Thursday, Dr. Bruce Given, Arrowhead’s Chief Operating Officer, released initial clinical data for the drug, known as ARO-HBV, during a presentation at the 18th World Gastroenterologists Summit in Auckland, New Zealand. Given pointed toward a functional cure for Hepatitis B and said more data from an ongoing clinical trial would be released in November.

In 2016, Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals abandoned its clinical-stage therapies, and instead began developing a new RNA (ribonucleic acid) delivery system. This year, when the firm started clinical trials on the new delivery system, Arrowhead became one of the biotech industry’s best-performing stocks.

Last Thursday, The Motley Fool reported Arrowhead shares were “skyrocketing” 41.8 percent higher.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that about 1.2 million people in the United States and 350 million people worldwide have Hepatitis B.

Each year, about 3,000 people in the U.S. and more than 600,000 people worldwide die from Hepatitis B-related liver disease, CDC said.

Most people with the virus were infected at birth or during early childhood and developed a lifelong chronic infection. Many of those infected are unaware that they have Hepatitis B, especially since they may not have symptoms. As a result, they can unknowingly spread the disease to others, including people they live with, sexual partners, and – for women – their newborns, the CDC said.

Last month, Arrowhead announced it had received a $10 million milestone payment from Amgen Inc., now developing an Arrowhead drug to treat cardiovascular disease. Arrowhead had licensed two of its RNAi (RNA interference) compounds for cardiovascular disease to Amgen in 2016 in a deal valued up to $674 million, including milestones.

Arrowhead’s stock has risen 430 percent this year, pushing its market capitalization to $1.7 billion, the LA Business Journal report said.






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