AERI : NASDAQ : US$10.61
AERI is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of glaucoma (one of the largest segments in the global ophthalmic market) and other eye diseases. Its product candidates are the dual-action AR- 13324 and triple-action PG324.
Life Sciences — Biotechnology
EAGLE EYE FOR VALUE; INITIATING WITH BUY, $19 PRICE TARGET
Initiating coverage with BUY rating, $19 target on AR-13324’s potential in open-angle glaucoma as a monotherapy and as part of PG324 combotherapy. We believe AR-13324, a novel ROCK/NET inhibitor, may become one of the most versatile drugs for open-angle glaucoma. We think Ph3 AR-13324 data and Ph2 PG324 data expected in 2015 will be positive, showing good efficacy and safety. We estimate $600M peak sales across both drugs.
AR-13324 may become the most versatile, widely used open-angle glaucoma drug. Open-angle glaucoma (OAG) is optical nerve damage and vision loss caused by high intra-ocular pressure (IOP), the result of inadequate fluid drainage through the trabecular meshwork (TM), the eye’s primary drain. AR-13324 is the most advanced ROCK/NET inhibitor in development, the only class that targets the TM. It also reduces fluid inflow. AR-13324 Ph3 trials are to start in mid-2014 (data H2/15). Ph2 data from combo product PG324 is due in H1/15.
Ph2 AR-13324 data: potential for once-daily dosing, excellent safety. Ph2 data suggest AR-13324 can lower IOP by 5-6mm Hg with good safety. Ph3 data may show similar efficacy, especially in patients with low IOP (~26 mm Hg) where current glaucoma drugs are weak.
Unlike popular current drugs like beta-blockers, AR-13324 does not have systemic side effects. Once-daily dosing of AR-13324 may allow for less eye redness as opposed to most drugs.
ComboTx PG324 represents another Tx option for OAG.
Prostaglandin analogues (PGAs) are another popular glaucoma drug class, the only drugs that are also once-daily. Their mechanism is complementary to AR-13324, supporting combination therapy. Most patients continue to deteriorate despite a cocktail of current drugs, indicating a need for new drug options.