What happened

Verve Therapeutics (VERV 2.60%), a clinical-stage gene-editing biopharmaceutical that focuses on cardiovascular therapies, saw its share price plummet 26.33% as of Monday afternoon. The stock closed on Friday at $31.29 and opened on Monday at $24.45. It fell to as low as $21.62 before noon. The stock has a 52-week low of $10.70 and a 52-week high of $55.72. So far this year, Verve's shares are down more than 37%.

So what

The company released a double dose of bad information for investors in its third-quarter earnings report. The biggest news that hurt the stock was the announcement that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was placing a hold on the company's Investigational New Drug (IND) application, halting a potential clinical trial for VERVE-101 to treat patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH), a type of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

Verve had planned to use its gene-editing medicine to turn off the PCSK gene in the liver to reduce lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), known to cause cardiovascular disease by building up in the arteries, leading to reduced blood flow or blockages and eventually, a heart attack or stroke. The company received the hold notification from the FDA on Friday and said it expects to receive an official letter from the agency within 30 days. VERVE-101 is also being looked at in a Heart-1 phase 1 clinical trial in New Zealand and the U.K. 

The other bit of bad news was a little more mixed as the company also announced its third-quarter earnings. While the company reported $929,000 in collaboration revenue compared to none in the same period a year ago, it is still losing money. It reported a net loss of $45.2 million, or an earnings-per-share (EPS) loss of $0.79, compared to a loss of $22.7 million and an EPS loss of $0.47 in the third quarter of 2021.

Now what

The hold on the VERVE-101 trial is a big deal because it is the biotech company's lead therapy. Investors will wait to hear more regarding the reason for the hold, so in the meantime, the stock will likely struggle.

The company's finances are actually in decent shape for a clinical-stage biotech company as Verve said it has $550.7 million, enough to fund operations through the second half of 2025.