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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of Alkermes (NASDAQ: ALKS ) , a diversified biopharmaceutical company, rose as much as 16% after the company announced positive clinical results for ALKS-5461 in a mid-stage trial to treat major depressive disorder, or MDD.
So what: The oral, non-addictive, opioid modulating drug was tested on 142 patients with MDD that had not responded to the current standard of treatment. In trials, the ALKS-5461 arm met its primary endpoint of changing the baseline in depressive symptoms over a four-week period as defined by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. The release also notes that the drug was well-tolerated. Alkermes plans to meet with the Food and Drug Administration soon in an attempt to advance ALKS-5461 into a development program.
Now what: I definitely believe that Alkermes shareholders have more than enough reason to turn those frowns upside down today! Rumblings on Wall Street are that, if approved, ALKS-5461 could have a market opportunity around $500 million. However, I'd forecast considerably more upside given the current one-size-fits-all nature of depression medications. As long as Alkermes can demonstrate non-dependence and a similar safety profile to existing depression medications, it could have a good shot at gaining approval since the results so far have spoken for themselves.
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