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RedHill's (RDHL) Opaganib Effective Against Kidney Fibrosis

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RedHill Biopharma (RDHL - Free Report) announced data from a preclinical in vivo study, evaluating its COVID-19 drug Opaganib in kidney inflammation and fibrosis. Data from the study demonstrated that Opaganib achieved efficacy in significantly reducing renal fibrosis in patients with chronic kidney disease (“CKD”) in a well characterized unilateral ureteral obstruction model.

Shares of RedHill have rallied 18.2% so far this year against the industry’s 9.6% decline.

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In CKD patients, renal fibrosis is a progressive process that may result in end-stage renal failure. COVID-19 and long COVID patients also have a high risk of kidney damage.

More than 20% of hospitalized COVID patients experience acute renal failure. Acute kidney injury –- a potential consequence of COVID-19 –- results in the inability of the kidneys to be repaired properly. Opaganib inhibits the sphingosine kinase-2, a key enzyme that is part of the process that prevents the kidney from repairing itself and replicating the COVID-19 virus.

It is to be noted that Opaganib, an oral pill drug candidate with dual anti-inflammatory and antiviral activity, is currently being evaluated in a phase II/III study in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. This study has completed treatment and follow up phase, with top-line results expected shortly.

The company recently announced positive preliminary results from a new preclinical study on Opaganib. The drug demonstrated strong inhibition of delta variant of the COVID virus in a human bronchial epithelial cells model, adding to prior data demonstrating potent inhibition of all COVID-19 variants tested to date.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

RedHill currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the biotech/drug sector include Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (IRWD - Free Report) , Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN - Free Report) and Repligen Corporation (RGEN - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Ironwood’s earnings per share estimates for 2021 have increased from $1.00 to $1.18 in the past 60 days. The same for 2022 has risen from $1.18 to $1.72 over the same period. The stock has rallied 10.3% in the year so far.

Regeneron’s earnings per share estimates for 2021 have increased from $49.51 to $54.15 in the past 60 days. The same for 2022 has risen from $41.30 to $44.11 over the same period. The stock has rallied 38.4% in the year so far.

Repligen’s earnings per share estimates for 2021 have increased from $2.26 to $2.76 in the past 60 days. The same for 2022 has risen from $2.56 to $3.02 over the same period. The stock has rallied 54.6% in the year so far.