NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Arrowhead Research  (ARWR - Get Report) are up by 25.52% to $8.48 in late morning trading on Thursday, after the company reported positive mid-stage trial data of its hepatitis B drug treatment candidate, ARC-520.

The company reported that its treatment candidate significantly reduced instances of the virus in humans and chimpanzees.

Arrowhead Research is currently competing against Gilead Sciences (GILD) to develop a new hepatitis B drug, according to The Wall Street Journal, with peak annual sales of ARC-520 expected to reach $4.5 billion.

Analysts are expecting the drug to reach the market by 2020.

"These are exciting data that represent a significant leap forward for our DPC™ platform, ARC-520, and the HBV field. We have achieved the highest knockdown ever reported in humans with RNAi and a safety profile that continues to be excellent," CEO Christopher Anzalone Ph.D. said in a statement. "We are optimistic that this will ultimately translate into powerful clinical outcomes for ARC-520 and follow-on candidates against multiple indications."

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates ARROWHEAD RESEARCH CORP as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate ARROWHEAD RESEARCH CORP (ARWR) a SELL. This is driven by a number of negative factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share. "

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