WB ups Arrowhead to OP


William Blair upgraded Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARWR) to “outperform” from “market perform” and raised its fair value estimate to $6 from $2 after the company’s R&D day on Sept. 14. The stock closed at $3.30 on Sept. 15.

Analyst Katherine Yu writes that at the R&D day, the company revealed the TRiM platform for developing novel RNA-interference medicines, and promised five investigational new drug or clinical trial application filings in 2018.

Among other things, she cited the versatility of the TRiM platform for designing decorated RNAi drugs and delivering them not only to the liver but also other tissues and organs; an improved route of administration from intravenous to subcutaneous with dosing frequency of once a month or less; high potency demonstrated from the lead two programs in animal models; and a much wider therapeutic index.

In addition, she cited Arrowhead’s other pipeline candidates, as well as the partnership potential for the TRiM platform, which is not included in her valuation.

“At a $180-million enterprise value, we believe Arrowhead shares are attractive,” she added.