Drugmaker soars nearly 300% on successful trial
Intercept Pharmaceuticals' stock price rockets to $285 after a test of its liver treatment was stopped early.
By Christopher Freeburn
Intercept Pharmaceuticals said the trial of obeticholic acid (OCA) was stopped after an analysis indicated that it had demonstrated its efficacy. Intercept CEO Mark Pruzanski hailed the news, saying "the unexpected early stopping of (the trial) due to OCA meeting the primary endpoint with such high significance is a major milestone."
The ICPT drug is meant to treat nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a chronic condition affecting the liver. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, NASH "resembles alcoholic liver disease, but occurs in people who drink little or no alcohol" and can lead to cirrhosis.
The trial, which monitored patients receiving a daily 25 mg oral dose of OCA over a 72-week treatment period, showed a "highly statistically significant improvement" in patients receiving the ICPT treatment.
Based on the results, the Data Safety Monitoring Board recommended that the trial be halted.
ICPT went public in October 2012 at $15 per share. At mid-Thursday's price around $280, Intercept has returned more than 1,700% since going public.
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A fairly quick google resulted in finding:
The drug is known as obeticholic acid and it's so old no one has a patent on it. One brokerage says the company may crack "2% of the market" for treating livers with it.
Apparently the only other treatment is to remove a small part of the liver. It's estimated that 2% to 5% of Americans between the ages of 40 and 50 have it and that few have it outside that age group.
No thanks! If the drug truly becomes a blockbuster the big kids on the block like Abbvie, Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, etc. will eat this tiny company for lunch.
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