Shares of Mesoblast Limited (MESO -7.27%) are rising sharply on Friday after the company reported positive results from a clinical trial for one of its pipeline candidates, remestemcel-L. The biotech's stock was up 7.3% as of 3:22 p.m. EDT, after soaring by as much as 24.5% earlier in today's trading session.
In a clinical trial investigating the efficacy of remestemcel-L in ventilator-dependent COVID-19 patients with moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), the medicine was shown to reduce mortality by 46% in patients under the age of 65 through day 60, but not in those aged 65 and older. When combined with dexamethasone, remestemcel-L reduced mortality by 75% and increased ventilation-free days in patients under the age of 65 through day 60, compared to those treated with dexamethasone alone.
Mesoblast CEO Silviu Itescu said, "Reduction in mortality in mechanically ventilated patients under 65 years old remains a critical unmet need since as many as 72% of currently hospitalized patients across the US with COVID-19 are in this age category." With these results in its back pocket, the biotech company plans to discuss a potential path toward regulatory approval or emergency use authorization (EUA) for remestemcel-L with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Remestemcel-L could provide an immediate boost to Mesoblast's financial results if it earns EUA. The company does have other promising pipeline candidates, too. Earlier this year, it announced positive results from a phase 3 clinical trial for rexlemestrocel-L in treating patients with chronic low back pain due to degenerative disc disease. Thanks to these results, Mesoblast boasts several short-term catalysts that could send its stock price even higher, which means it might be worth it to keep an eye on this company in the coming months.