Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Here's Why Global Blood Therapeutics Inc. Soared 47.1% in January

By Cory Renauer - Feb 5, 2018 at 12:39PM

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

Bagging the first breakthrough therapy designation for a sickle cell disease modifying treatment boosted confidence last month.

What happened

Shares of Global Blood Therapeutics Inc. (GBT -6.42%), a clinical-stage biotech developing new drugs to treat blood-based disorders, surged 47.1% higher in January, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The FDA's decision to grant the company's lead candidate a Breakthrough Therapy designation was the main driving force behind last month's gain.

So what 

The Breakthrough Therapy designation is the FDA's favorite tool for speeding up development of drugs the agency feels have potential to truly make a difference for patients with serious ailments. The FDA designated Global Blood Therapeutics Inc.'s lead candidate, voxelotor, a Breakthrough Therapy for the treatment of sickle cell disease last month.

Person in a suit attracting cash money with a giant magnet.

Image source: Getty Images.

Breakthrough Therapy announcements don't usually lead to such dramatic stock price movements. This one carries extra weight because it's the first for sickle cell disease despite the presence of several promising sickle cell disease candidates in clinical-stage development at the moment.

Now what

As a once-daily tablet, voxelotor would have a huge convenience advantage over complex gene therapies in development for sickle cell disease from bluebird bio (BLUE -2.50%) and Crispr Therapeutics (CRSP -0.09%). Since Crispr hasn't even begun human testing with any candidates and Bluebird is still fine-tuning its approach, Global Blood Therapeutics could also gain a big first-to-market advantage.

Of course, voxelotor still needs to generate some winning data during the ongoing phase 3 Hope study. Part A of the trial will finally show us how well the drug performs against a placebo after a few months of treatment. Look for top-line data in the first half of the year.

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

Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. Stock Quote
Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc.
GBT
$29.75 (-6.42%) $-2.04
bluebird bio, Inc. Stock Quote
bluebird bio, Inc.
BLUE
$4.29 (-2.50%) $0.11
CRISPR Therapeutics Stock Quote
CRISPR Therapeutics
CRSP
$66.90 (-0.09%) $0.06

*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
336%
 
S&P 500 Returns
115%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 06/27/2022.

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.