Protagonist Therapeutics, Inc. (PTGX - Free Report) announced that it has initiated a phase II study to evaluate its novel hepcidin mimetic candidate, PTG-300, in patients with hereditary hemochromatosis, a rare blood disorder. The disease results in accumulation of iron in the body's tissues and organs. It can lead to restrictive cardiomyopathy, diastolic dysfunction, heart failure, cirrhosis, and other effects, including an increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma.
The study will evaluate PTG-300 in patients over 24 weeks for reduction in serum transferrin saturation (“TSAT”), serum iron levels and phlebotomy requirements. The candidate has shown potential to reduce TSAT level in other ongoing clinical studies. Current treatment options for hereditary hemochromatosis include regular phlebotomy (removal of blood) and hormone replacement therapy, which can be a significant burden to patients. Successful development of PTG-300 may reduce the burden.
The company is also developing PTG-300 in mid-stage studies as a treatment for beta-thalassemia and polycythemia vera. The candidate enjoys Orphan Drug designation and Fast Track status in the United States as a treatment for beta-thalassemia.
Shares of Protagonist have declined 6% in the past year compared with the industry’s decrease of 2.5%.
The company is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, which discovers and develops novel peptide-based drugs using its proprietary technology platform targeting diseases with significant unmet medical needs.
Apart from PTG-300, the company is also developing other therapies. A phase II study is evaluating PTG-200 as a treatment for inflammatory bowel disease, with Crohn's disease as the initial indication, in collaboration with Janssen, a subsidiary of J&J (JNJ - Free Report) . A phase II study is likely to start in the second quarter of 2020 to evaluate PN-943 in patients with ulcerative colitis.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Protagonist currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
A couple of better-ranked stocks in the biotech sector include Coherus BioSciences, Inc. (CHRS - Free Report) and Celsion Corporation (CLSN - Free Report) , both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Coherus’ earnings estimates increased from $1.50 to $1.67 for 2020 over the past 60 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in three of the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 149.94%. Shares of the company have gained 65.3% in the past year.
Celsion’s loss estimates have narrowed from 77 cents to 66 cents for 2020 over the past 60 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in three of the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 51.11%.
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