William Blair has launched coverage on the development stage biotech Akouos, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKUS) with an Outperform recommendation noting the potential of gene therapies to treat a hereditary form of hearing loss.
AKUS’ lead asset AK-OTOF is a gene therapy designed to deliver directly into the inner ear to treat pediatric patients with otoferlin gene (OTOF)-mediated hearing loss.
In mid-September, the company announced FDA clearance to begin a Phase 1/2 study for the candidate involving children as young as two years old.
The analyst Sami Corwin argues that the inner ear could be an “ideal target” for one-time gene therapies as the anatomy and biology of the organ offer similar advantages to that of the eye, a widely used target for similar treatments.
“We believe AK-OTOF has the potential to be a first-in-class and best-in-class product, and clinical data could provide near-term catalysts for the stock,” the analyst wrote with a $12 per share target on AKUS.
Wall Street has remained bullish on Akouos (AKUS) stock, with an average rating of Buy from analysts, while Seeking Alpha’s quant system, which consistently beats the market, rated AKUS as a Strong Buy.