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Akari Therapeutics, PLC: Initiation of Research Coverage

Thursday, April 6, 2017

William Blair & Company initiated research coverage of Akari Therapeutics, PLC (AKTX $11.62). Akari Therapeutics is a development-stage biotechnology company focused on development of next-generation complement inhibitors for the treatment of rare hematologic diseases.

Analyst Tim Lugo said, “Akari Therapeutics’ lead candidate, Coversin, is a next-generation complement inhibitor in early-stage clinical trials. Complement inhibition has become a blockbuster therapeutic category with the success of Soliris, which generated $2.8 billion in 2016 revenue. Given the alternative binding site of Coversin versus Soliris, the product should find a niche in non-Soliris-responding patients whose genetic mutations prevent the activity of Soliris. Akari has already successfully treated one such European patient and presented this data at the 2016 American Society of Hematology meeting. We believe that Coversin has several other potential competitive advantages to Soliris, including a once-daily, self-administered, subcutaneous injection; LTB4-independent inhibition; and a smaller molecule, which may allow increased tissue penetration.”

Lugo added, “The company’s Phase II study is likely to be detailed at Akari’s analyst event on April 24 and should provide data on several additional patients. To date, the product has a clean side effect profile from the Phase I data in normal healthy patients. In addition, preclinical data reinforces the limited clinical data and suggests that Coversin is blocking complement. With C5 inhibition being a validated method of treatment in the rare life-threatening rare diseases of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, we see the upcoming Phase II data set as a major value-creating event for the company.”

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