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Price Target on US Biopharma Co. Boosted by $15

Source: Julian Harrison

 

September 16, 2022 (Investorideas.com Newswire) The increase came after positive clinical trial results on one of its lead drug candidates differentiating it from a competitor, noted a BTIG report.


BTIG increased its target price on Keros Therapeutics Inc. (KROS:NASDAQ) to $95 from $80 due to the positive data on the biopharma's therapeutic candidate KER-012 presented at the recent American Society for Bone and Mineral Research meeting, reported BTIG analyst Julian Harrison in a September 12, 2022 research note. In comparison, Massachusetts-based Keros is now trading at about $39.85 per share.

"In the wake of this update, we raise our probability of success for KER-012 in Group 1 pulmonary hypertension to 75% from 55%," Harrison wrote. The next step for KER-012 is a Phase 2 study in this indication, likely to commence early next year.

These new results are from the Part 2 multiple ascending dose portion of Keros' Phase 1 clinical trial of KER-012 in healthy postmenopausal women. Harrison purported the data "further enforced KER-012 as the best-in-class activin receptor ligand trap in pulmonary hypertension" and could benefit more patients than competitor, Sotatercept. Harrison highlighted the ways KER-012 is superior to Sotatercept, as indicated by the new data.

A significant difference, Harrison noted, is that KER-012 did not show any clinically meaningful changes in hemoglobin across all doses assessed, even on an individual patient basis. Accordingly, patients taking the drug should not need routine hemoglobin monitoring. In contrast, Sotatercept negatively affects hemoglobin, and it is a dose-limiting factor.

Also, KER-012 has a greater and, thus, more desirable effect on patients' follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels than Sotatercept, wrote Harrison. Data showed KER-012 to lower FSH in a dose-dependent manner, achieving a maximum reduction of 52% with 4.5 milligrams per kilogram (4.5 mg/kg).

"For context, maximum activin inhibition corresponds to about a 50% reduction in FSH, which suggests that 4.5 mg/kg KER-012 is likely showing maximal inhibition of activin signaling," Harrison explained.

Sotatercept, in comparison, showed about a 32% maximum average reduction in FSH with 1 mg/kg of the drug. Further, only up to 0.7 mg/kg is being dosed in pivotal development, likely due to Sotatercept's negative effect on hemoglobin.

Harrison noted the STELLAR and CADENCE clinical trials of Sotatercept in pulmonary hypertension expected to read out soon, perhaps even this year, could benefit KER-012.

"Overall, we would view successful readouts from both of these Sotatercept studies as additional validation of KER-012's disease-modifying potential in pulmonary hypertension," the analyst wrote.

BTIG has a Buy rating on Keros.

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Disclosures For BTIG Research LLC., Keros Therapeutics, September 12, 2022

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