Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals is having a strong day in the market today, and for good reason. The company announced license and collaboration agreements that it has penned with Amgen. Today, we’ll talk about the details of the agreements, what we’re seeing from the stock as a result, and what we can expect to see from ARWR ahead.
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ARWR Gains Big On Collaboration With AMGN
As mentioned above, Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals is having a strong day as the result of agreements signed with Amgen. The companies have entered into two license and collaboration agreements. Ultimately, the agreements surround the development and commercialization of RNA interference (RNAi) therapies for cardiovascular disease.
This is a massive milestone for ARWR. In fact, the agreements mark the first programs that take advantage of the company’s subcutaneous RNAi delivery platform. With this platform, RNAi molecules are able to be designed to target and turn off specific gene products that contribute to various diseases.
First Agreement Specs
As mentioned above, there are two agreements that were signed here. Under the terms of the first agreement, AMGN will receive a worldwide, exclusive license to the novel, RNAi ARC-LPA program at ARWR. These specific RNAi molecules have been designed to reduce elevated lipoprotein(a). Lipoprotein(a) is a genetically validated, independent risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
Second Agreement Specs
Under the second agreement included into today’s news, Amgen will receive an option to a worldwide, exclusive license for an RNAi therapy for an undisclosed genetically validated cardiovascular target.
Finances And Responsibilities
On the responsibilities side of the coin, AMGN really takes on the majority of the risk. That’s because, in both agreements, the company will be wholly responsible for clinical development and commercialization. So, this part of the process – and risk – is taken away from Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals.
On the financial side of the agreement, it was announced that ARWR will be receiving an upfront payment in the amount of $35 million. On top of that, the company will receive $21.5 million by way of equity investment made by AMGN in ARWR common stock. Down the road, the potential earnings from the partnership only grows. In fact, milestone and option payments could lead to an additional $617 million in revenue for Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals.
With the news, key members of management at both companies made statements. Here’s what they had to offer:
“Arrowhead’s expertise in RNAi makes them a valuable partner as we translate genetic discoveries into potential therapies that can improve health outcomes for patients… This collaboration builds upon our commitment to cardiovascular disease with targets that we believe are uniquely suited for RNAi-based therapy.” – Sean E. Harper, M.D. Executive Vice President of Research and Development at AMGN.
“We have made great advances to our proprietary subcutaneous RNAi deliver vehicle and in RNAi trigger modification and stabilization that enable rapid development of new RNAi therapeutics across multiple disease areas… Our capabilities and platform technologies are becoming increasingly validated, so we feel that now is a great time to expand the reach of our technologies and partner with other companies to maximize the value of our assets. We are thrilled to be working with Amgen, one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies, on this collaboration. Amgen’s extensive development, regulatory, and commercial expertise makes them an ideal partner, and we look forward to a long and productive relationship.” Christopher Anzalone, Ph.D., President and CEO at ARWR.
What We’re Seeing In The Market As A Result
As mentioned above, ARWR is having an incredible day in the market today following the news. Currently (12:32), the stock is trading at $7.69 per share after a gain of $0.65 per share (9.23%) thus far today.
What We Can Expect To See Moving Forward
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Moving forward, I have an overwhelmingly bullish opinion with regard to what we can expect to see from Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals. At the end of the day, the company has done an incredible job with regard to creating an RNAi delivery vehicle, learning about triggers and stabilization, and more. Now, the deal with AMGN further validates the company’s work. All in all, I’m expecting to see gains in ARWR ahead.
[Image Courtesy of Wikimedia]