Reata Pharmaceuticals surges 59% on promising neuromuscular disease drug results

Reata Pharmaceuticals

One of the biggest winners on Tuesday was a biotech stock that reported impressive results for one of its drug candidates. Reata Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: RETA) saw its shares surge by almost 60% yesterday when the company reported that data from its phase 2 clinical study aimed at treating a rare neuromuscular disease – Friedreich’s ataxia – proved to be extremely promising.

Patients who were treated with Reata’s drug candidate omaveloxolone had seen an improvement rating of 1.5 points, whereas patients who received a placebo saw their improvement scores fall by 0.9 points instead. The clinical trial was set up to over a 48-week time period to simulate the results of long-term usage of the drug. The difference between the two patient groups was large enough that statistically is couldn’t be a coincidence.

“The results of MOXIe represent a truly historic moment for the patients, families, and caregivers that comprise the Friedreich’s ataxia community,” commented Ronald Bartek, President of the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) in response to the news.  “Based on the results reported today for omaveloxolone, we are hopeful that our community will finally have its first approved therapy that can slow this relentlessly progressive disease.  We are extremely proud of, and grateful for, the FA community including all those who have participated in this clinical trial and in the natural history study important in designing the trial.  We are also grateful to the clinical teams who conducted the trial and to our Reata colleagues.  We look forward to continuing the Reata-FARA partnership as we work in pursuit of approval of the first FA therapy.”

Just last week, Reata signed a deal to pay $330 million to reacquire the rights for both omaveloxolone and bardoxolone from pharmaceutical giant AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV). While investors and analysts alike were happy by that the company made the decision to buy back these drugs, it appears that this was an even better move in retrospect now that these results have come out.

Right now, Reata will need to come together with regulators such as the FDA to go over whether these results are sufficient enough by themselves to receive approval from the agency. At the moment, there are almost no treatments for patients suffering from Friedreich’s ataxia, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the FDA move ahead to approve the drug more quickly then it would have otherwise.

Shares of Reata Pharmaceuticals spiked by 58% in response to the news. Since the beginning of the year, the company has seen its stock triple. An early jump in the beginning of January saw shares rise by around 50% and has since been hovering approximately around the same range before today’s jump in price. While there are many biotech stocks that end up being duds, it appears that Reata Pharmaceuticals seems well poised to hit the big leagues should its omaveloxolone drug receive approval.

Reata Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Reata Pharmaceuticals Inc is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on identifying, developing, and commercializing therapeutics to address serious and life-threatening disease by targeting molecular pathways. – Warrior Trading News