What happened

Shares of clinical-stage biotech BioVie (NASDAQ: BIVI) were down 16.5% in midday trading on Tuesday. The company focuses on therapies to treat chronic debilitating conditions and after the market closed on Monday, it released phase 2 trial results for its lead therapy, NE3107, to treat Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. The stock is down more than 17% so far this year.

So what

The move downward was a bit surprising since the news from the trials was largely positive. In the Parkinson's trial, NE3107, used as a combination therapy with levodopa, improved motor score by 3 points more than seen in patients just treated with levodopa. The therapy was more effective (6 points) higher when used on Parkinson's patients who were under 70. 

BioVie also tested NE3107 as a monotherapy in mild Alzheimer's patients and said patients showed 2.1 points of improvement in enhanced cognition on the modified Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS). Interestingly, the company followed up the Monday announcement with one Tuesday that added that NE3107 improved biomarkers of aging-related disease in Alzheimer's patients. There's a good chance that analysts saw the data and felt the improvement patients showed was too small considering the small sample size of the study -- 45 Parkinson's patients and 22 Alzheimer's patients. The second release in as many days may have actually confused investors as well.

Now what

The biotech company remains excited about NE3107, saying it has the potential to bring in $10 billion annually to treat Alzheimer's and $3 billion annually as a Parkinson's disease treatment. Investors are likely to wait for the drug's larger phase 3 trial results as a therapy to treat inflammation and insulin resistance in Alzheimer's patients. Those results are expected in mid-2023, BioVie said. 

The company will likely need to raise cash to develop its therapies. In its third-quarter report, the company reported a loss of $10.5 million and with only $21.2 million in cash and cash equivalents remaining, has said it will need to raise additional funds to continue operations next year.