The shares of clinical-stage biotech AnaptysBio, Inc. (NASDAQ:ANAB) fell in the morning hours Tuesday after Truist downgraded the company to Hold from Buy, citing a high bar for efficacy for the company’s hair loss treatment rosnilimab ahead of a topline readout.
ANAB is on track to report early data in 1Q 2023 from its AZURE Phase 2 trial for rosnilimab in patients with moderate-to-severe alopecia areata.
Pointing to a rival oral therapy from Concert Pharma (CNCE) which has reached the main goals in late-stage trials, Truist analysts led by Joon Lee wrote, “….we think the bar for rosnilimab is that much higher given significantly higher cost associated with injectable drugs vs oral drugs.”
In addition, Truist notes the recent approval of Spevigo from Boehringer for generalized pustular psoriasis (GPP), which it says darkens the prospects for Imsidolimab, ANAB’s GPP candidate.
Arguing that ANAB shares have held up well despite clinical failures due to its strong cash level, the firm slashes the price target for the stock to $28 from $50 per share.
The downgrade comes following a Phase 2 trial setback for imsidolimab in chronic skin condition hidradenitis suppurativa.