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Ampio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s (AMPE) shares gained 3.2% following positive results from the open label portion of a study on multiple injections of Ampion. Shares were up an additional 5.6% in the following trading session. Overall, shares are up 8.9% since the announcement.

In this study, Ampio evaluated the safety and efficacy of multiple injections of Ampion (4ml) for treating pain in patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee. Patients were administered with three injections of Ampion in their knees, at two and four weeks.

Multiple injections of Ampion showed higher efficacy (WOMAC A pain score improvement of 86% from baseline) compared to a single injection of Ampion administered on patients during the SPRING study (WOMAC A pain score improvement of 40% from baseline). Results from the SPRING study were presented in August last year.

Ampio said that the demonstration of safety and efficacy of three injections of Ampion compared to a single injection was necessary for advancing the randomized vehicle-controlled portion of the study. The company intends to file a biologics license application (BLA) for Ampion for this indication in the first quarter of 2015.

Our Take

We are encouraged by the positive results from the open label study on Ampion for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. Since Ampion is a key candidate, we expect investor focus to remain on updates on the candidate’s development.

Ampio carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector are Allergan Inc. (AGN - Analyst Report), Mallinckrodt plc (MNK - Analyst Report) and AstraZeneca plc (AZN - Analyst Report). While Allergan and Mallinckrodt carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), AstraZeneca holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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