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U.S. Biopharma Making a 'Bold Move into a Large Market Opportunity'
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This latest undertaking of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals and the near-term catalysts of some of its other programs are described in an H.C. Wainwright & Co. report.

In a March 2 research note, H.C. Wainwright & Co. analyst Ed Arce reported that Dicerna Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:DRNA) is making "a bold move into a large market opportunity" with its newly announced development program for alcohol use disorder (AUD).

In this indication the company will evaluate DCR-AUD, a GalXC-based therapy, as it silences expression in the liver of the aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) gene, an enzyme that assists in metabolism of alcohol.

"Dicerna believes inhibition of ALDH2, as a therapeutic complement to nonpharmacologic behavioral approaches, may help individuals with AUD avoid harmful levels of alcohol use," Arce relayed.

"We believe DCR-AUD is a departure from Dicerna's orphan focus to date, as AUD is a large and complex market that while highly underserved has historically been a challenging therapeutic area," Arce wrote.

To discuss its new program, the Massachusetts-based biopharma will hold a webinar on March 18. Key opinion leader Dr. Henry Kranzler will join Dicerna on the video conference. Dr. Kranzler is a professor of psychiatry and director of the Center for Studies of Addiction at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine.

Also regarding DCR-AUD, Dicerna expects to file an investigational new drug application or clinical trial application for it in about mid-2021 and then, in Q3/21, commence a Phase 1 single-ascending dose trial in healthy volunteers.

Arce also reported that Dicerna's other programs, core and partnership, continue to advance. The four leaders and related upcoming catalysts are:

1) Nedosiran for primary hyperoxaluria. Topline results from the pivotal PHYOX2 and the PHYOX4 trials are expected in mid-2021. Dicerna then would submit a new drug application for nedosiran in Q3/21 and, possibly, launch it commercially in 2022.

2) Belcesiran for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency-associated liver disease. Dicerna is expected to start the Phase 2 study in H1/21 and present data from Phase 1 later this year.

3) RG6346 for chronic hepatitis B virus. The combination Phase 2 PIRANGA study led by partner Roche is expected to start in the near term.

4) LY3561774 for dyslipidemia, in partnership with Eli Lilly.

Dicerna plans to expand its pipeline candidates, aiming to add two more GalXC and GalXC-Plus drug development programs by mid-2021 and four more by year-end 2022.

Management expects to generate more than $100 million in cash this year from its collaborations and indicated that Dicerna's $568.8 million in cash at Dec. 31, 2020, is enough to fund the biopharma into 2023.

H.C. Wainwright updated its model on the biopharma, which it rates Buy, and this resulted in a target price increase to $40 per share from $35. Today, the stock is trading at about $29.05 per share.


1) Doresa Banning compiled this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise Reports as an independent contractor. She or members of her household own securities of the following companies mentioned in the article: None. She or members of her household are paid by the following companies mentioned in this article: None.
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Disclosures from H.C. Wainwright & Co., Dicerna Pharmaceuticals Inc., Target Price Revision, March 2, 2021

Investment Banking Services include, but are not limited to, acting as a manager/co-manager in the underwriting or placement of securities, acting as financial advisor, and/or providing corporate finance or capital markets-related services to a company or one of its affiliates or subsidiaries within the past 12 months.

I, Ed Arce, certify that 1) all of the views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about any and all subject securities or issuers discussed; and 2) no part of my compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendation or views expressed in this research report; and 3) neither myself nor any members of my household is an officer, director or advisory board member of these companies.

None of the research analysts or the research analyst's household has a financial interest in the securities of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (including, without limitation, any option, right, warrant, future, long or short position).

As of February 28, 2021 neither the Firm nor its affiliates beneficially own 1% or more of any class of common equity securities of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Neither the research analyst nor the Firm has any material conflict of interest in of which the research analyst knows or has reason to know at the time of publication of this research report.

The research analyst principally responsible for preparation of the report does not receive compensation that is based upon any specific investment banking services or transaction but is compensated based on factors including total revenue and profitability of the Firm, a substantial portion of which is derived from investment banking services.

The firm or its affiliates received compensation from Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for non-investment banking services in the previous 12 months.

The Firm or its affiliates did not receive compensation from Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for investment banking services within twelve months before, but will seek compensation from the companies mentioned in this report for investment banking services within three months following publication of the research report.

The Firm does not make a market in Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. as of the date of this research report.

H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC and its affiliates, officers, directors, and employees, excluding its analysts, will from time to time have long or short positions in, act as principal in, and buy or sell, the securities or derivatives (including options and warrants) thereof of covered companies referred to in this research report.

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