What happened

Shares of Veru (NASDAQ:VERU) had skyrocketed 29.5% higher at 11:38 a.m. EST on Monday. The big jump came after the company announced promising results from a phase 2 study evaluating experimental drug VERU-111 in treating patients with COVID-19 who are at high risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

So what

It's not unusual at all for biotech stocks to soar after reporting great clinical results. And Veru's results were pretty great.

Gloved hand stopping wood blocks spelling COVID-19 from knocking over other wood blocks.

Image source: Getty Images.

The company said that hospitalized patients receiving VERU-111 experienced an 81% reduction in death or respiratory failure 29 days after treatment compared to patients receiving a placebo. In addition, VERU-111 appeared to achieve a statistically significant reduction in days in the intensive care unit and a reduction in the number of days patients were on mechanical ventilation.

Veru stated that VERU-111, an oral medication given daily, was well tolerated overall. The biotech said that there were no treatment-related adverse events. 

Now what

The next big step for Veru is to advance VERU-111 into late-stage testing. The company expects to kick off its phase 3 study in April and complete the study by the end of this year. Veru said that it plans to try to get funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for the late-stage study.

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