Biopharmaceutical drug discovery and development small-cap Antisense Therapeutics Ltd [ASX:ANP] have seen a substantial spike in their share price today, up 89.36% at time of writing.
The surge appears to be subsequent to the positive results announced for the Phase II clinical trial for their immunomodulatory therapy drug, which treats Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
The company issued a trading halt yesterday in anticipation of this announcement and its expected dramatic effect on their share price.
This kind of extraordinary gain is something you can find often within the biotech sector. Of course, there are also a lot of fizzers you’ll want to avoid.
The best you could hope for
ANP aim at creating antisense drugs ‘for diseases where there are large and/or poorly met markets’, which can then be successfully trialled and commercialised through deals and partnerships with other major pharmaceutical companies.
This latest trial, testing the ATL1002 drug, involved six patients undergoing 24 weeks of treatment with the drug.
The drug is designed to inhibit the expression of a particular gene on immune cells, which tends to enhance the disease progression and inflammation in DMD patients.
Results of phase II of the trial showed positive results regarding disease progression at muscle strength/functioning level, as well as a decreased amount of that concerning gene expression.
Principle investigator of the trial, Dr Ian Woodcock, also noted ‘the safety profile of ATL1102 appears satisfactory with no serious adverse effects being reported in the trial so far.’
The next step for ANP?
In terms of the next step, it was noted in the update:
‘The results appear highly supportive of the Company’s plans for a Phase IIb clinical trial of ATL1102 in MDM with these plans to be reviewed with three European regulatory authorities at Scientific Advice meetings with the first meeting commencing next month. All three meetings have now been confirmed.’
ANP CEO Mark Diamond is pleased with the data ‘given there is currently no effective treatment for non-ambulant DMD patients.’
It definitely is a step in the right direction regarding ANP’s main market objectives.
Though there will still be some time — with no guarantees — before the ATL1102 drug becomes commercially available.
Nevertheless, spikes like these — with reason behind them — are what we look for in small-cap stocks.
One to watch to see if the positive momentum continues.
For Money Morning