aTyr Pharma: a three-digit rise
aTyr Pharma (LIFE) is a biotherapies company involved in the development of drugs based on new biological pathways. Earlier this month, aTyr reported a loss of $ 0.51 per share in the first quarter of the fiscal year, compared to earnings of $ 0.25 per share in the same quarter last year. Analysts had expected a loss of $ 0.32 per share.
The company had no sales in the first quarter, compared to $ 8.1 million in the same quarter last year. The company’s revenue in the first quarter of fiscal 20 was primarily licensing revenue from its collaboration agreement with Kyorin.
Last year, aTyr entered into a collaboration and licensing agreement with Kyorin Pharmaceutical for the commercialization and development of its lead clinical candidate, ATYR1923, in Japan.
Following the results, HC Wainwright analyst Joseph Pantginis reiterated a buy and a target price of $ 13 (up 185%) on the stock. Let’s see why Pantginis is so bullish on the title.
ATyr Pharma’s key drugs include ATYR1923 and ATYR2810 which are under development or under preclinical study.
The company’s flagship product is ATYR1923, which is currently in development and can be used for the treatment of patients with severe inflammatory lung disease, including patients with severe respiratory complications from COVID-19.
LIFE is conducting a multicenter phase 1b / 2a clinical trial for ATYR1923 in 37 patients with interstitial lung disease (IDP) such as pulmonary sarcoidosis. Data from the trial is expected in the third quarter of this year.
In January, the company announced positive results from its Phase 2 clinical trials of ATYR1923 in COVID-19 patients with severe respiratory complications.
ATyr CEO Sanjay S. Shukla said during the company’s earnings call: “We are very encouraged by our progress and look forward to leveraging our programs and the new biology platform at tRNA synthetase as we move forward this year. ”
Reviewing the positive results, the Wainwright Pantginis analyst commented: “As a result, patients treated with ATYR1923 showed at baseline older age, severe hypoxia, higher number of co-morbidities and higher level of biomarker associated with COVID-19 pneumonia such as D-dimer, ferritin and CRP. Furthermore, the effect of ATYR1923 was noted in addition to a potent immunosuppressant (dexamethasone) which, in our opinion, supports the potent immunomodulatory activity of ATYR1923, thus projecting a potentially positive result in sarcoidosis.
Pantginis added, “ATYR1923 is expected to impact a wide range of diseases associated with lung inflammation. Therefore, testing the drug in patients with COVID-19 with respiratory complications caused by an excessive inflammatory response in the lungs is a scientifically sound approach, in our opinion.
ATYR2810 is the company’s new investigational drug candidate (IND), a monoclonal antibody that blocks the interaction between a gene encoding a Neuropilin 2 (NRP2) protein and one of its main ligands, the growth factor of vascular endothelium (VEGF). This drug could be used in the treatment of certain aggressive solid tumors, as increased expression of NRP2 is associated with worse outcomes in many cancers.
aTyr presented the preclinical results of the ATYR2810 at the Virtual Keystone Symposia earlier this month. The preclinical results were encouraging and indicated that “ATYR2810, a Neuropilin-2 (NRP2) antibody, selectively blocks the NRP2 / VEGFR signaling axis and sensitizes xenograft models derived from triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients. chemotherapy. “
The company has entered into an agreement with Lonza to manufacture ATYR2810 and help it progress to clinical development.
Pantginis commented on the manufacturing agreement: “We believe this agreement strengthens ATYR2810’s journey to the IND and limits the risk associated with a possible shortening of supply material. As mentioned by management, ATYR2810 should be in clinical practice in 2022 and be studied in patients with a tumor indication selected on the basis of NRP-2 enrichment as well as the results of ongoing preclinical studies. “
Pangu BioPharma is the subsidiary of aTyr in Hong Kong. Earlier this month, LIFE announced that Pangu and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) achieved key milestones in the first year of a two-year project that included the establishment of ‘A qualified research team to establish an antibody discovery platform at HKUST. . (See aTyr Pharma share analysis on TipRanks)
The Hong Kong government’s Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) has approved a $ 750,000 grant as part of the two-year project to develop a “high-throughput platform for the development of bispecific antibodies. with an initial focus on diseases in which Neuropilin-2 (NRP2) overexpression. “
Analyst Joseph Pantginis commented on the program: “We believe this program provides a valid opportunity for the expansion of the company’s pipeline towards an attractive market opportunity, bi-specific antibodies, with non-dilutive funding, while building on the knowledge accumulated on the NRP2 of two programs. . “
Taking of Wall Street
LIFE shares climbed 16.7% last month.
Analysts are bullish on the stock and the consensus rating is a strong buy based on 5 buys. The analysts’ average price target of $ 15.50 implies upside potential of around 240% from current levels.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.