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Biopharma Gets Green Light for Hypertension Study
Research Report

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Jason McCarthy, an analyst at Maxim Group, discussed this France-based biotech firm's near-term clinical trial and catalysts.

A Sept. 11 research report revealed Quantum Genomics SA's (ALQGC:PA; QNNTF:OTXQX) "Phase 2 study (NEW-HOPE, n=250) of brain aminopeptidase A inhibitor (BAPAI) candidate QGC001 has received regulatory clearance and is on track to initiate in Q4/17," wrote analyst Jason McCarthy with Maxim Group. "BAPAIs are a new class of drug that targets the brain renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS)."

Medical data suggest "20–25% of patients have poorly controlled blood pressure and are resistant to multiple drugs currently available; many of these patients have low renin-high vasopressin hypertension (LRHV)," indicated McCarthy.

Quantum's BAPAI, QGC001, might help. "By targeting the brain RAAS versus the periphery, QGC001 can potentially control blood pressure in these patients," the analyst explained, reiterating that "what makes BAPAIs unique is that they act centrally in the brain to regulate blood pressure in hypertensive patients and have no impact on healthy (normotensive) patients."

As for the study design, NEW-HOPE "will enroll 250 hypertensive patients with at least 50% of patients being ethnic minorities (LRHV)," and treat them for eight weeks, explained McCarthy. Further, NEW-HOPE should "complete enrollment in Q4/18 and report data in mid-2019."

Maxim expects catalysts "over the next year as Quantum continues to advance its BAPAI platform in hypertension and heart failure," the analyst wrote.

One catalyst is the heart failure study (QGC101). "The n=75 study is ongoing at 15 centers" and "should be fully enrolled in Q4/17 with data expected in H1/18," noted McCarthy.

A second catalyst is the anticipated initiation of "a combination study in hypertension evaluating a BAPAI plus a diuretic," although the company hasn't yet disclosed a start date, McCarthy said. "QGC001, in combination with currently approved therapies, could provide a more effective and more well-tolerated approach for treating high blood pressure and chronic heart failure."

With respect to BAPAIs' potential, McCarthy suggested, "Novel combination approaches that include BAPAIs could expand the hypertension and heart failure drug markets, in our view. The new European intellectual property covers the combination therapy of QGC001 with multiple medications that are widely prescribed to treat hypertension and heart failure."

Maxim Group has a rating of Buy and a 12-month target price of €12 per share on Quantum Genomics, which is currently trading at about €3.10 per share.

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