PharmaMar shares rise after drug study proves effectiveness against Omicron. suggests
January 11, 2022; 8:22 AM EST
MADRID, Jan 11 (Reuters) – Stocks of PharmaMar (PHMR.MC) rose nearly 20% on Tuesday after the Spanish drug maker said laboratory tests suggested its plitidepsin drug was effective against major COVID-19 variants, including the highly contagious Omicron.
Results of in vitro tests published in the journal Life Science Alliance showed that all variants of plitidepsin, also known as aplidine, had potent antiviral effects and reduced the viral load detected in animal lung tissue by 99%, it said Company with.
The same paper also contained previously published beneficial effects in Phase I and II clinical trials conducted on patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
The drug originally developed for the treatment of cancer is currently in phase III trials.
“All of the data we’ve seen with plitidepsin so far confirms our original hypothesis about its antiviral activity,” PharmaMar chairman Jose Maria Fernandez Sousa said in a statement.
The company’s shares rose 19% in early afternoon trading and were on track for their best day in nearly a year. The stock was up around 20% in January last year, even after encouraging news about plitidepsin.
However, Alvaro Lenze, an analyst at Spanish brokerage firm Alantra, warned cautiously, saying it was too early to draw any definitive conclusions about the drug’s effectiveness against variants of coronavirus.
“We also believe that PharmaMar’s options with COVID are very limited as the potential treatment would likely arrive too late,” he wrote in a message to his clients.
Initial data suggests that PharmaMar’s drug is less effective than competing treatments, while its intravenous administration is less convenient than the pills manufactured by Pfizer (PFE.N) und Merck & Co. (MRK.N), added Lenze.
“We believe the market reaction is disproportionate and see the rally as an opportunity to sell the stock.”
Reporting by Inti Landauro, Nathan Allen and Jesús Aguado Editing by Louise Heavens and David Goodman
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