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ChemoCentryx Up on Encouraging Rare Disease Candidate Data

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Shares of ChemoCentryx, Inc. CCXI skyrocketed almost 282% on Nov 26, following the encouraging top-line data from the phase III study – ADVOCATE – evaluating its orally-administered selective complement 5a receptor inhibitor, avacopan. The pivotal study assessed avacopan in patients with anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis (ANCA vasculitis), a rare disease affecting small blood vessels. Data from the study exceeded management and investor expectations.

The company is planning to file regulatory application seeking approval for avacopan for treating ANCA vasculitis in the United States and Europe next year.

ChemoCentryx’s shares were up 181.7% so far this year compared with the industry’s rally of 9.3%.

The ADVOCATE study compared efficacy of avacopan in combination with Roche (RHHBY - Free Report) / Biogen’s BIIB Rituxan (rituximab) or chemotherapy, cyclophosphamide to current standard of care ("SOC") of prednisone, a glucocorticoid or steroid, plus Rituxan or cyclophosphamide.

Data from the study showed that patients in the study treated with avacopan achieved both primary endpoints of clinical remission at weeks 26 and 52. Clinical remission was statistically superior in the avacopan arm compared to SOC at 52 weeks.

Clinical remission, as measured by Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score ("BVAS"), was achieved in 72.3% of patients in the avacopan arm compared to 70.1% in the SOC arm at week 26. Moreover, 65.7% of patients treated with avacopan achieved sustained remission at week 52, compared to 54.9% for the SOC arm. Treatment with avacopan also significantly reduced glucocorticoid toxicity and improved kidney function versus SOC.

Meanwhile, the safety profile of avacopan was also better than SOC as data showed there were fewer serious infections in the avacopan arm than the glucocorticoid SOC control arm.

Moreover, ChemoCentryx is also developing avacopan for treating other rare diseases including C3 glomerulopathy and hidradenitis suppurativa.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

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

Alkermes plc ALKS is a better-ranked stocks in the pharmaceutical sector sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Alkermes’ earnings estimates increased from 36 cents to 52 cents for 2019 and estimates improved from a loss of 11 cents to earnings of 59 cents for 2020 over the past 60 days. The company beat estimates in the trailing four quarters by 236.8%, on average.

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