In the biotech sector, Thursday’s markets saw one of the biggest single-day declines for a stock seen in the entire month.
Adverum Biotechnologies (NASDAQ: ADVM) saw its shares get cut in half after the company announced data from its phase 1 clinical trial for ADVM-022, a gene therapy meant to treat macular degeneration.
The data was presented at the Retina Society 2019 Annual Meeting, where Adverum presented their results to the public. Specifically, ADVM-022 is meant to treat wet age-related macular degeneration, a condition which causes blurred vision or possibly a blind spot in a person’s eyesight.
While the company presented its findings as if it was a positive development, it was clear that investors saw through it for what the results truly were: disappointing.
“Typically, patients with wet AMD require frequent anti-VEGF injections to maintain vision, representing a substantial treatment burden that often results in vision loss due to undertreatment. The single largest unmet clinical need for these patients is for a long-lasting anti-VEGF treatment,” said Szilárd Kiss, M.D., a retinal specialist that presented the data at the meeting. “These data on ADVM-022 are compelling, as they demonstrate for the first time that a one-time gene therapy delivered by intravitreal injection has the potential to provide sustained efficacy and transform the treatment paradigm for patients with wet AMD.”
Adverum emphasized the importance of the fact that the six patients who tried their drug didn’t need to take any other additional drugs. However, the main criteria of whether a drug treating a visual disease is successful or not comes down to how the patient’s eyesight improved.
In this regard, while some patients saw a mild improvement, many had seen their eyesight get significantly worse. After 24 weeks, the data showed that patients on average were able to recognize two fewer letters then they did before the use of ADVM-022.
The FDA will likely demand a considerable improvement from the drug before it considers moving ahead with it. Adverum also made sure to mention that the anatomy of the retina saw improvements in its patients, yet this failed to translate into improved eyesight. As for now, Adverum will continue to monitor these patients for the next 52 weeks to see if the data changes substantially.
Shares of Adverum fell by 50.3% in response to the news, although after-hours trading has seen the stock recover 5%. Over the past six months, shares have seen a drastic increase from $5 to approximately $17 before tumbling back down to their current price range.
Adverum Biotechnologies Company Profile
Adverum Biotechnologies Inc is a US-based clinical-stage gene therapy company. The company is committed to discovering and developing novel medicines that can offer potentially life-changing therapeutic benefit to patients living with rare diseases or diseases of the eye, who currently have limited or burdensome treatment options.
Its services are focused on advancing three lead gene therapy programs to address unmet needs in wet age-related macular degeneration and in rare diseases alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and hereditary angioedema. Its leading programs include ADVM-022, ADVM-043 and ADVM-053. – Warrior Trading News