Back to top

Image: Bigstock

Protagonist (PTGX) Begins Dosing in Phase I Study With PN-235

Read MoreHide Full Article

Protagonist Therapeutics, Inc. (PTGX - Free Report) announced that it has dosed the first patient in a phase I study, evaluating its oral interleukin-23 receptor (IL-23R) antagonist peptide – PN-235 (also known as JNJ-77242113).

The early-stage study is being conducted as a part of Protagonist Therapeutics’ ongoing collaboration with Janssen Biotech, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) .

Per the company, PN-235 was discovered through Protagonist Therapeutics’ peptide technology platform and is the first second-generation oral IL-23 receptor antagonist to enter clinical development. The phase I study will evaluate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of oral PN-235 in around 100 healthy volunteers. The company remains focused to see its potential for multiple indications targeting the well-validated IL-23 pathway. Results from the phase I study are expected in 2021.

Shares of Protagonist Therapeutics were up 9.9%, following the announcement of the news on Wednesday. In fact, the stock has skyrocketed 207.9% so far this year compared with the industry’s increase of 9.2%.

price chart for PTGX

The phase I study on PN-235 will be categorized in three parts, namely – a single ascending dose, a multiple ascending dose and a randomized, crossover solid dose comparison part. The primary endpoint of the study will check the safety as measured by the number and severity of adverse events.

Notably, Protagonist Therapeutics has a co-development and commercialization agreement with Janssen for IL-23 receptor-targeted therapies targeting various indications. Per the agreement, Protagonist Therapeutics will be eligible to receive development and sales-based milestone payments if a product is commercialized from the collaboration. Janssen, on the other hand, will lead further development/commercialization activities of candidates beyond the phase II study.

We remind investors that Protagonist Therapeutics and Janssen Biotech are currently evaluating PTG-200, an oral IL-23 receptor antagonist, in a phase II study for the treatment of Crohn's disease.

Protagonist Therapeutics is also evaluating the safety, tolerability and efficacy of PN-943, an oral alpha-4-beta-7 integrin antagonist, in a phase II study for treating moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Protagonist Therapeutics currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other stocks to consider in the biotech sector include Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (HALO - Free Report) and Cara Therapeutics, Inc. (CARA - Free Report) , both  carrying a Zacks Rank #2 at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Halozyme’s earnings estimates have moved 31.4% and 19.4% north for 2020 and 2021, respectively, over the past 60 days. The stock has rallied 131.9% year to date.

Cara Therapeutics’ loss per share estimate has been narrowed 14.2% for 2020 and 22.5% for 2021 over the past 60 days.

These Stocks Are Poised to Soar Past the Pandemic

The COVID-19 outbreak has shifted consumer behavior dramatically, and a handful of high-tech companies have stepped up to keep America running. Right now, investors in these companies have a shot at serious profits. For example, Zoom jumped 108.5% in less than 4 months while most other stocks were sinking.

Our research shows that 5 cutting-edge stocks could skyrocket from the exponential increase in demand for “stay at home” technologies. This could be one of the biggest buying opportunities of this decade, especially for those who get in early.

See the 5 high-tech stocks now>>