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Prothena (PRTA) to Advance Parkinson's Disease Drug to Phase II

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Prothena Corporation plc (PRTA - Free Report) and partner Roche (RHHBY - Free Report) announced plans to advance their pipeline candidate, prasinezumab, into a phase IIb study in patients with early Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson's disease is a progressive degenerative disorder of the entire nervous system. The study is expected to be initiated in 2021.

Shares of the company have lost 28.9% compared with the industry’s decline of 1.7%.

The decision to advance the candidate into the phase II study was based on positive signals of efficacy consistent with disease modification in the PASADENA study.

The study will be designed to further assess the efficacy of prasinezumab and include patients with early Parkinson’s disease on stable levodopa therapy, indicating an expansion in the patient population.

Prasinezumab is designed to block the cell-to-cell transmission of the aggregated, pathogenic forms of alpha-synuclein in Parkinson's disease, thereby slowing clinical decline. 

Prothena has a license agreement with Roche for the development and commercialization of selected antibodies targeting alpha-synuclein, including prasinezumab. The initiation of PASADENA on prasinezumab triggered a $30-million milestone payment from Roche to Prothena in the second quarter of 2017.   Prothena will earn a $60 million clinical milestone payment upon first patient dosed in this study. Further details are expected to be announced in the first half of 2021.

Prothena also entered into a global neuroscience research & development collaboration with Celgene, which is now part of Bristol Myers (BMY - Free Report) , to develop new therapies for a broad range of neurodegenerative diseases. The collaboration is focused on three targets implicated in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases inducing tau, TDP-43 and anundisclosed third. Per the terms, Prothena received a $100-million upfront payment and a $50-million equity investment from Bristol Myers.

Zacks Rank and A Stock to Consider

Prothena currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A better-ranked stock in the healthcare sector include Emergent Biosolutions Inc. (EBS - Free Report) , sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy)). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Emergent’s earnings estimates have increased from $4.23 to $6.61 for 2020 and from $5.55 to $8.42 for 2021 over the past 90 days. Shares of the company have increased 79.2% year to date.

 

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