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Aerpio (ARPO) Seeks Strategic Options for Pipeline Programs

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Aerpio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. () announced that its board of directors has initiated a process to review a range of strategic alternatives for its pipeline programs.

Shares of the company have increased 65.2%in the past year compared with the industry’s growth of 5.3%.

As part of its strategic review, the company looks for partners for its candidates, as wellas a possible sale, buy out or merger. The company will also look for in-license, out-license or other strategic transaction

It is taking this step to maximize stockholder value from its assets and cash resources. The programs that will be incorporated in the review include razuprotafib and Tie2 activating antibodies.

The decision was taken following the announcement of the positive top-line results in December 2019 from a phase II study of lead compound,razuprotafib, in glaucoma patients. The study was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a topical ocular formulation of razuprotafib as an adjunct to standard of care latanoprost. The primary endpoint of the study was mean diurnal IOP at day28 in the razuprotafib-treated groups compared to the latanoprost monotherapy group. The study met the primary endpoint and showed that the change from baseline in diurnal mean IOP at day 28 of study eyes treated with razuprotafib twice-daily (BID) plus latanoprost was statistically significant compared to those treated with latanoprost monotherapy. The study also showed that razuprotafib had a larger IOP reduction after longer duration dosing.

Other than glaucoma,Aerpiois also conducting two studies of razuprotafib to prevent or mitigate acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19 patients. Patient enrollment and dosing in the two studies continue. The company also has Tie2 activating antibodies in early development, including both a monospecific antibody that may be used to treat diabetic complications and a bispecific antibody that may be used to treat retinal diseases such as diabetic macular edema (DME) and wet age-related macular edema (wAMD).

Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider

Aerpio currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Some better-ranked stocks in the healthcare sector include Alkermes Plc. ((ALKS - Free Report) ), ASLAN Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (ASLN - Free Report) and Aptose Biosciences Inc. (APTO - Free Report) . While Alkermes carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), ASLAN and Aptose carry , each Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Alkermes’ earnings per share estimates have increased from 48 cents to 52 cents for 2021 over the past 60 days. Shares of the company have increased 0.2% year to date.

ASLAN’s loss per share estimates have narrowed from 42 cents to 40 cents for 2020 and from 60 cents to 57 cents for 2021 over the past 60 days.

Aptose’s loss per share estimates have narrowed from 79 cents to 69 cents for 2020 and from 90 cents to 81 cents for 2021 over the past 60 days.

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