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 InvestorPlace Jan 9, 2014 1:53PM

Droplet Falling from Pipette into Test Tube © Andrew Douglas, Radius Images, Getty ImagesBy Christopher Freeburn

Shares of biopharma company Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT) rocketed more than 290% in Thursday trading after a trial for one of its drugs achieved its endpoint and was halted ahead of schedule.

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.

More From InvestorPlace

Jan 9, 2014 2:32PM

Watch the price of this drug when it is available.    OUCH!!!


Jan 9, 2014 3:31PM
The movie "I am Legend" comes to mind.
Jan 9, 2014 4:59PM
The last time I looked into a "blockbuster" drug from a small company, I found out there were already competitive drugs, the drug in question was a long-established drug the company had no patent on - they simply added heat to the treatment, and the disease was rare enough that the company wasn't going to sell much.  Here we have a liver disease that occurs to non-alcoholics.  How many people have it?  Who owns the drug?

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.

Jan 9, 2014 3:58PM
Well as usual once its news its to late. Keeping an eye on CBIS
Jan 9, 2014 2:41PM
Okay ... but does it lead to the growth of a second nose ... or a heart attack ... or ... or ... or...
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