What happened

Shares of Cassava Sciences (SAVA -1.88%) soared 12.6% on Monday. The solid gain came after the company provided a clinical update on several programs. 

So what

With Biogen recently winning U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for Aduhelm in treating Alzheimer's disease, investors are keenly focused on any progress with other programs targeting the disease. Cassava's progress report, which came on a day when the overall stock market delivered a strong performance, was enough to serve as a solid catalyst for the biotech stock.

Alzheimer's Disease printed at the top of a form that's next to X-ray images, a pen, syringes, and pills.

Image source: Getty Images.

Cassava announced that it has completed patient enrollment in an open-label study evaluating simufilam in treating Alzheimer's disease. The company plans to report interim results from the first 50 patients to complete nine months of treatment in the study at the 2021 Alzheimer's Association International Conference scheduled for July 26 through July 30.

In addition, the drugmaker stated that as of mid-June, around 30 patients have been enrolled in another study evaluating simufilam in treating Alzheimer's disease. This study began in May and is designed to compare the drug's impact on cognition in patients who continue with treatment versus those who discontinue treatment.

Now what

Cassava plans to kick off two pivotal late-stage studies of simufilam in the second half of this year. The company has already selected a clinical research organization to run these studies.