Several biotech companies were present at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) to showcase data on their cancer treatments. While focus was mainly on ASCO data, companies like Biogen (BIIB - Free Report) and Sarepta (SRPT - Free Report) remained in the limelight on pipeline updates.
Recap of the Week’s Most Important Stories
1. Biogen’s shares plunged 12.8% with the company’s experimental multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment, opicinumab (anti-LINGO-1) missing the primary endpoint in a mid-stage study. The secondary efficacy endpoint was also missed. However, instead of writing off the drug, Biogen intends to analyze the results further to determine the design of the next study. The company said that despite the missed primary endpoint, it found evidence of a clinical effect with a complex, unexpected dose-response (Read more: Why is Biogen Stock Plunging Today?).
2. It’s been quite a week for Sarepta with the company’s shares on a rollercoaster ride. Shares first plunged 26.6% on speculation that new FDA guidelines regarding expanded access (compassionate use) were an indication that the agency would not grant approval to Sarepta’s experimental Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) treatment, eteplirsen (Read more: Why Is Sarepta Therapeutics Stock Down 20% Today?).
However, Sarepta’s shares recovered much of the lost ground earlier this week when the company announced that the FDA has asked it to provide dystrophin data, as measured by western blot, from biopsies already obtained from the ongoing confirmatory study of eteplirsen (PROMOVI), as part of its ongoing evaluation of the regulatory application. Shares shot up 22.6% on this update. (Read more: Sarepta Asked to Provide Dystrophin Data on Eteplirsen).
3. Alexion (ALXN - Free Report) also had some disappointing news with its blockbuster product Soliris failing to achieve the primary endpoint in a late-stage study in patients with refractory generalized myasthenia gravis. Shares were down 10.9% on the study results (Read more: Alexion's Soliris Misses Phase III Primary Efficacy Endpoint).
4. Regeneron (REGN - Free Report) and partner Sanofi announced positive data from a late-stage study on their experimental skin disease drug – dupilumab. Dupilumab met the primary and key secondary endpoints in the study that was conducted in patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (Read more: Regeneron, Sanofi Report Positive Dupilumab Phase III Data). Plans are on to seek regulatory approval in the third quarter of the year. If approved, the drug could bring in blockbuster sales.
5. And finally a look at some ASCO results – while companies like Kite (Read more: Why is Kite Pharma Stock Soaring Today?), Exelixis (Read more: Exelixis Up on Positive Kidney Cancer Data on Cabometyx) and Cyclacel (Read more: Cyclacel Pharma Stock Skyrockets 50% on Positive Phase 1 Data) saw their shares soaring on data presentation, AbbVie’s (ABBV - Free Report) data on its recently acquired Rova-T failed to inspire much enthusiasm from investors (Read more: AbbVie at ASCO: Early-Stage Data on ABT-414 and Rova-T) on concerns that the company may have paid too much for the Stemcentrx acquisition. Amgen (AMGN - Free Report) was also at ASCO with data on Kyprolis.
Among major biotech stocks, Celgene (CELG - Free Report) gained 1.78% over the last five trading days while Biogen declined 12.73%. Over the last six months, Amgen was up 1.74% while Regeneron lost 27.83% during this period.
The NASDAQ Biotechnology Index was down slightly (0.78%) over the last five trading days (See the last biotech stock roundup here: Sarepta Shoots Up on FDA Delay, Ionis Falls on Pipeline News).
What's Next in the Biotech World?
Watch out for the usual pipeline updates and data presentations from biotech companies.
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