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Ionis (IONS) Offers Positive Interim Data on Lipid Candidate

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Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s (IONS - Free Report) wholly owned subsidiary, Akcea Therapeutics, announced positive data from an interim analysis of a phase I/IIa study on its pipeline candidate, IONIS-ANGPTL3-L RX. Data were presented at the American Heart Association Meeting.
In the study, patients who received multiple doses of ANGPTL3-L RX (10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg and 60 mg) experienced dose-dependent and statistically significant mean reduction of up to 83%, 66% and 35% in angiopoietin-like 3, triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol, respectively.

The candidate demonstrated a favorable safety and tolerability profile with neither any discontinuation due to adverse events nor a clinically meaningful decline in platelets.

The encouraging study results support the development of IONIS-ANGPTL3-L RX for the treatment of multiple diseases such as severe dyslipidemias and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

We note that IONIS-ANGPTL3-L RX is being developed utilizing LIgand Conjugated Antisense (LICA) technology.

Ionis has a deep pipeline with several candidates in the mid or final stages of development. The most advanced candidate in the company’s pipeline is Spinraza, which is currently under review in the both the U.S. and the EU for the treatment of patients with spinal muscular atrophy. Other promising candidates include IONIS-TTRRx (phase III – transthyretin amyloidosis) and volanesorsen (phase III – familial chylomicronemia syndrome and familial partial lipodystrophy) among others.

Ionis currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).



Stocks to Consider

A few better-ranked stocks in the healthcare sector include Incyte Corporation (INCY - Free Report) , Anika Therapeutics (ANIK - Free Report) and Exelixis, Inc. (EXEL - Free Report) . Anika sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Incyte and Exelixis carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Incyte’s earnings estimates increased from 20 cents to 68 cents for 2016 and from $1.42 to $1.69 for 2017 over the last 60 days. The company posted a positive average beat of 431.43% over the last four quarters.

Anika’s earnings estimates increased from $1.96 to $2.06 for 2016 and from $2.03 to $2.09 for 2017 over the last 60 days. The company posted a positive surprise in all of the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 33.14%. Its share price has gained 15.1% year to date.

Exelixis’ loss estimates narrowed from 65 cents to 51 cents for 2016 and from a loss of 7 cents to earnings of 4 cents for 2017 over the last 60 days. The company posted a positive surprise thrice in the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 38.52%. Its share price has skyrocketed above 150% year to date.

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