Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Why Adamas Pharmaceuticals Inc Stock Skyrocketed Today

By Brian Orelli, PhD – Aug 25, 2017 at 11:15AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

FDA approvals tend to make investors happy.

What happened

Shares of Adamas Pharmaceuticals (ADMS) have skyrocketed today, up 42.3% as of 12:02 p.m. EDT, after the company announced yesterday evening that the Food and Drug Administration approved Gocovri, the biotech's drug for treating dyskinesia in patients with Parkinson's disease.

So what

Dykinesia is uncontrolled involuntary movements, which are caused by levodopa-based therapies that Parkinson's disease patients take to control their main symptoms. It's the first drug approved for the indication, but there's a catch here. The active ingredient in Gocovri is amantadine, which is available as a cheap generic. Generic amantadine isn't approved for the indication, but doctors prescribe the drug off-label to treat Parkinson's disease patients with dykinesia nevertheless.

Paper with definition of Parkinson's disease written on it.

Image source: Getty Images.

Gocovri is formulated as an extended release capsule that only has to be taken once a day, which is certainly more convenient, especially for Parkinson's disease patients who are taking other medications. But whether that will be enough for patients to justify the potentially higher copay for a branded drug versus a generic remains to be seen.

It's possible that Gocovri actually works better than taking multiple doses of amantadine, where levels of the drug might drop between doses, but Adamas Pharmaceuticals tested Gocovri versus placebo in the clinical trials used to gain approval, so it isn't clear if Gocovri actually works better than immediate-release amantadine.

Now what

Gocovri will be available in the fourth quarter, but Adamas Pharmaceuticals doesn't plan to start its launch with a full sales force until January 2018, so investors will have to wait a few quarters to see the trajectory of the launch.

Adamas Pharmaceuticals is also testing Gocovri for patients with multiple sclerosis who have trouble walking, which affects about 80% of patients. A second indication would help boost sales, but investors will have to wait for pivotal clinical trial data and then a potential approval before those sales start rolling in.

Brian Orelli has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Stock Quote
Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 09/28/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.