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Biogen (BIIB) Reports Mixed Data From Neuropathy Pain Study

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Biogen, Inc. (BIIB - Free Report) announced positive top-line data from the phase IIb CONVEY study, which evaluated its investigational non-opioid pain drug, vixotrigine, for treating pain in patients with small fiber neuropathy (“SFN”).

SFN is a form of peripheral neuropathy marked by the degeneration of small-diameter sensory fibers, including pain-producing fibers. Often characterized by severe pain in hands or feet, SFN can cause a variety of sensory and autonomic symptoms.

In the year so far, Biogen’s stock price has risen 22.4% in comparison with the industry’s 0.4% increase.

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The CONVEY study evaluated the efficacy and safety of vixotrigine for treating pain in patients with idiopathic or diabetes mellitus-associated SFN over a 12-week period. The study randomized the patients into three arms — two different doses of AR-15512 (200 mg or 350 mg) and placebo — dosed twice daily.

The 200 mg dose achieved the primary endpoint of statistically significant reduction in the mean average daily pain score versus placebo during the treatment period. However, the 350 mg arm failed to meet the primary endpoint. Nonetheless, the 350 mg dosage did achieve a statistically significant increase in the Patient Global Impression of Change at week 12, which is a measure of patients’ overall improvement when compared to baseline.

While the study observed numeric advantages of vixotrigine over placebo in secondary endpoints, treatment with both dosages of the drug failed to achieve statistical significance in secondary endpoints. Data from the study demonstrated that both doses of the drug were well tolerated among the participants in the study.

On the basis of the data collected from the vixotrigine program, Biogen plans to decide the potential dose administration in phase III studies. The company also plans to present detailed data from the study at a future medical meeting.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Biogen currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the same sector include Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN - Free Report) , Repligen Corporation (RGEN - Free Report) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX - Free Report) . While Regeneron and Repligen each carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present, Vertex holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Regeneron’s earnings per share estimates for 2021 have increased from $50.00 to $53.22 in the past 60 days. The same for 2022 has risen from $40.91 to $44.84 over the same period. The stock has rallied 35.2% in the year so far.

Repligen’s earnings per share estimates for 2021 have increased from $2.26 to $2.76 in the past 60 days. The same for 2022 has risen from $2.56 to $3.02 over the same period. The stock has rallied 56.5% in the year so far.

Vertex’s earnings per share estimates for 2021 have increased from $11.22 to $12.37 in the past 60 days. The same for 2022 has risen from $12.24 to $13.13 over the same period.