If you like roller coasters, then you might like biotechnology stocks. Athira Pharma (ATHA), based near Seattle, Washington, is a biotechnology company that specializes in making small molecules to support nervous tissue health and slow neurodegeneration. The company is developing treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and ALS. Athira Pharma has several drugs that are between Phase 1 and Phase 3 of clinical trials.
Biotech stocks tend to be volatile based on the uncertain nature of clinical trials, and ATHA is no exception. As of early 2023, ATHA stock had traded in a 52-week range of $2.53 to $14.22. After failing a Phase 2 trial for its experimental Alzheimer’s drug in 2022, investors ran for the exits and the stock lost 64% of its value.
There was a management shakeup in 2021 that led to the ouster of then CEO Leen Kawas, Ph.D. The company owns numerous patents that could give it a competitive advantage. Athira Pharma is not yet profitable and does not yet have any drugs available for commercial sale.
How do we estimate ATHA will do in 2023?
The ATHA stock forecast is quite bullish for 2023. Wall Street analysts have a median price target of $5.50 on the stock. The stock was trading at $3.76 as of early 2023, suggesting an upside potential of 46%. Based on the opinions of six analysts, the consensus is to either buy or hold the stock.
Athira Pharma started off 2023 with a bang, announcing that it has several drugs in the pipeline that it expects to see advance this year. The company plans to enroll patients in a study for its LIFT-AD trial to treat Alzheimer’s disease halfway through the year.
Athira is also in the midst of a study to treat Parkinson’s disease in which it has enrolled more than two-dozen patients. Once treatment is complete, the company will collect data to decide the next steps for this initiative.
Both of these projects have the potential to move the stock, depending on the results, quite possibly in dramatic fashion.
How do we estimate ATHA will do in 2024?
Athira will have more clarity on its clinical trials by 2024, and so too will investors. Its Alzheimer’s drug, in particular, is in Phase 3 of clinical trials.
Athira Pharma expects to report on the results of its LIFT-AD trial for its experimental Alzheimer’s drug in 2024. Depending on how the patients responded to the treatment, this could be a catalyst for the stock either for gains or losses. If all goes well, Athira Pharma could be submitting a new drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The company has been spending millions more on research and development (R&D) than in past years, and it also has $260 million of cash on its balance sheet. Athira Pharma is aiming for profitability but only if it succeeds at meeting its objectives, mainly the development of its drug candidates. They do not yet have drugs on the market for sale and therefore have no promise of generating revenue in the future.
How do we estimate ATHA will do in 2025?
Athira Pharma is facing a significant market opportunity with its drugs in trial to fight neurodegenerative diseases. In 2021, more than 2 million people were diagnosed with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease, the available treatments for which are said to only have a limited effectiveness.
Athira Pharma believes that progress made by its peers, major biotechnology companies Biogen and Lilly, paved the way for biomarker-based approvals for Alzheimer’s drugs. As a result, FDA approvals for drugs that treat neurodegenerative diseases could be sped up.
If the company can maintain its strong balance sheet, the ATHA stock forecast should remain favorable in 2025. This is assuming that the company’s drugs continue to progress through clinical trials. Anything less and investors have proven they are willing to punish the stock down to the lowest estimates of $3 per share.
How do we estimate ATHA will do in 2030?
While there’s no crystal ball to see where ATHA stock will be trading in 2030, there is a principle to guide investors. Healthcare and biotechnology stocks generally don’t go out of style. They are not dependent on the state of the economy because the world will always need healthcare and drugs. As a result, the ATHA stock forecast could be quite optimistic for 2030.
The company is going to have to make some progress between now and then for its stock price to reach its potential. As of now, the highest ATHA stock forecast is for $33 per share.
Not all biotech companies are competitors. For example, Athira considers Biogen, Eli Lilly and Roche as being complementary to its approach. Direct competitors to Athira Pharma may include Apellis Pharmaceuticals, X4 Pharmaceuticals and Aclaris Therapeutics.
Biotechnology stocks in general can be risky because their performance in large part depends on the results of clinical trials. This adds a great deal of uncertainty to the mix. Athira Pharma was founded in 2011, which is a good sign for a biotech company.
Just over $233 million across deals like a post-IPO equity round, convertible note, Series B, Series A and venture rounds.
This remains to be seen. The company failed Phase 2 but there were some encouraging results in parts of it. Phase 3 trials are underway.