Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Here's Why Arrowhead Research Corp.'s Stock Bolted Higher Today

By George Budwell - Sep 24, 2015 at 12:03PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Arrowhead Research Corp.'s stock shot higher after the company provided a clinical update for its experimental hepatitis B treatment.

What: Shares of Arrowhead Research Corp. (ARWR 2.61%), a clinical-stage biopharma specializing in RNAi therapeutics, rose by as much as 38% today on tremendous volume.

This dramatic spike in Arrowhead's share price was triggered by a positive clinical update from the company for its experimental hepatitis B treatment, ARC-520, that is currently being studied in an ongoing mid-stage trial.

Per the company's press release, a group of treatment-naive, hepatitis B virus E-antigen positive patients that were given a single 4 mg/kg dose of ARC-520 saw a peak reduction in the hepatitis surface antigen, HBsAg, of 99%. Additionally, patients presently on a standard form of background therapy and treated with the same dosage of ARC-520, exhibited a mean maximal reduction of 92% in circulating HBeAg. 

Put simply, the therapy essentially cleared the signs of an active hepatitis B infection in some cases. These preliminary trial results were disclosed by the company as part of its analyst day being held in New York today. 

So what: According to the World Health Organization, 240 million people globally are chronically infected with hepatitis B, resulting in approximately 650,000 deaths every year. While there are a handful of approved products that are effective at preventing infection, or suppressing the virus in infected patients, a functional cure is presently lacking. Arrowhead is hoping ARC-520 can fill this unmet medical need. 

Now what: We should learn further details of ARC-520's mid-stage study at today's presentation for analysts. Nonetheless, I'm personally content sitting on the sidelines with this speculative biopharma stock for the time being. After all, ARC-520 still has a long road ahead of it before going up for a formal regulatory review.  


Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Stock Quote
Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
$34.20 (2.61%) $0.87

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 05/28/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.