Arrowhead to focus resources on subcutaneous and extra-hepatic RNAi therapeutics; three clinical-stage drug candidates axed; 30% of workforce cut; shares plummet 60% after hours

|About: Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals (ARWR)|By:, SA News Editor

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARWR) sets a new direction in its product development strategy by focusing on the development of RNAi therapeutics that utilize its proprietary subcutaneous (subQ) and extra-hepatic delivery systems. The redeployment of resources kills clinical-stage drug candidates ARC-520, ARC-521 and ARC-AAT that utilize the DPCiv (EX1) delivery vehicle. In addition, the company will eliminate 30% of its workforce.

A few weeks ago, the company's mid-stage study assessing ARC-520 in hepatitis B was placed on clinical hold by the FDA due to concerns with toxicology related to EX1.

Existing preclinical subQ and extra-hepatic programs with Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) are unaffected.

Management will host a conference call and webcast at 4:30 pm ET today to discuss its plans.

Shares are unchanged after hours on light volume.

Previously: FDA places clinical hold on Arrowhead's mid-stage study of lead product candidate in hepatitis B e antigen-positive patients (Nov. 8)

Update: Shares are down 60% after hours on robust volume.