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Chardan Analysts Initiate Coverage On Akari Therapeutics With A Sell Rating

Although there are catalysts for Akari Therapeutics PLC (ADR) AKTX 8.14% in 2H16, the inferior dosing schedule for coversin and stiff competition pose risks, Chardan Capital Markets’ Madhu Kumar said in a report. He initiated coverage of the company with a Sell rating and a price target of $5.

Phase II data for Akari Therapeutics’ protein inhibitor, coversin, to treat paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria [PNH] is expected in 2H16. Analyst Madhu Kumar pointed out, however, that the company faces two key challenges in the CMD [C5-mediated diseases] therapy space.

Coversin Dosing

“Coversin’s dosing route and schedule are clinically unfavorable compared to competitors,” Kumar wrote. Daily subcutaneous injection of coversin was especially unfavorable relative to competitors including Soliris and ALXN1210 from Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ALXN 0.71%, ALN-CC5 from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ALNY 2.06% [Rated: Buy] and ACH-4471 from Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ACHN 0.77%.

Competitors Have Superior Efficacy In PNH

“Early results from a single PNH patient treated with coversin demonstrate partial normalization of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels, a key biomarker of clinical efficacy in PNH. In contrast, both Soliris and ALXN1210 from Alexion completely normalize LDH levels in larger patient cohorts. Moreover, although also from a single PNH patient, ALN-CC5 from Alnylam, in combination with Soliris, completely normalizes LDH levels,” the analyst mentioned.

These three factors raised concerns related to the long-term competitive success of coversin in CMDs, Kumar added.

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