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Aligos (ALGS) Stock Down on Hepatitis Drug Development Halt

Aligos Therapeutics' (ALGS) phase I study evaluating its chronic hepatitis B candidate, ALG-010133, did not achieve sufficient activity against the disease.

This story originally appeared on Zacks

Aligos TherapeuticsALGS shares fell 56.7% after the company announced that it is halting further development of its drug candidate, ALG-010133, in chronic hepatitis B (CHB).

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Aligos’ decision to halt the development is based on data from the phase I study ALG-010133-101, which reported that there was no meaningful HBsAg reduction at the projected efficacious dose (400 mg).

Aligos also noted that high dose levels of ALG-010133, which were planned to be evaluated in subsequent cohorts, were very unlikely to reach the required HBsAg reduction level that Aligos had previously defined as necessary to advance the program.

Shares of Aligos Therapeutics have plunged 85.5% in the trailing 12 months in comparison with the industry’s 29.9% decline.

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Per management, the decision to halt the ALG-010133 development is based on a joint review with ALG-010133-101’s Study Review Committee (“SRC”). Both management and SRC jointly concluded that the candidate did not indicate sufficient antiviral activity against the hepatitis B virus.

Apart from ALG-010133, Aligos has multiple candidates with distinct mechanisms of action (MOAs) in its pipeline, which are under clinical development or will enter the same for CHB. These MOAs include ALG-000184 (CAM-2) and ALG-020572 (ASO), which are currently in early-stage clinical studies. A third MOA, ALG-125755 (siRNA), is projected to enter clinical studies in mid-2022.

Apart from CHB indication, Aligos is also evaluating candidates for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The company is currently evaluating ALG-055099, a small molecule thyroid hormone receptor beta agonist, in early-stage clinical studies for NASH.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Aligos Therapeutics currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the overall healthcare sector include AbbVie ABBV, Pfizer PFE and Precision BioSciences DTIL. While both Pfizer and Precision BioSciences currently carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), AbbVie currently holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Pfizer’s earnings per share estimates for 2022 have increased from $3.84 to $5.50 in the past 60 days. Shares of Pfizer have rallied 48% in the past year.

Earnings of Pfizer beat earnings estimates in three of the last four quarters and missed expectations in one, with the average surprise being 10.9%.

Precision BioSciences’ loss per share estimates for 2022 have narrowed from $2.39 to $1.91 in the past 60 days.

Earnings of Precision BioSciences beat estimates in all the last four quarters, delivering a surprise of 76.9%, on average.

AbbVie’s earnings per share estimates for 2022 have increased from $13.99 to $14.09 in the past 60 days. Shares of AbbVie have risen 26.7% in the past year.

Earnings of AbbViebeat estimates in three of the last four quarters while meeting expectations in one, with the average surprise being 3%.

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