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Why Rexahn Pharmaceuticals Inc. Jumped Higher

By Sean Williams - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:58PM

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Rexahn shares soar after reporting initial phase 1 results for solid tumor cancer drug supinoxin. Here's why investors may want to temper that excitement just a bit.

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Rexahn Pharmaceuticals (NYSEMKT: RNN), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing therapies to treat cancer, nervous system disorders, and sexual dysfunction, rocketed higher by as much as 18% after announcing the initial results from its phase 1 dose-escalation study of supinoxin (previously RX-5902) for solid cancer tumors before the opening bell.

So what: According to the press release, the phase 1 study, which was initiated in August 2013, is still ongoing and a maximum tolerated dose (MTD) has yet to be reached. Rexahn notes that three drug cycles have been completed with no drug-related adverse events. Furthermore, as the press release notes, "Pharmacokinetic analysis has shown that SupinoxinTM displays dose-proportional exposure and an estimated oral bioavailability of 51%."

Now what: Long story short, supinoxin is well tolerated and its profile is consistent with what researchers saw from the drug in preclinical studies. Rexahn anticipates it will have full phase 1 data when the trial is completed later this year. This is clearly good news when a study translates successfully into human trials, but I would suggest not getting too worked up over these extremely early stage results. We have very little semblance of efficacy demonstrated as of yet and Rexahn hasn't even hit the drugs' MTD. I wouldn't stand in the way of investors wanting to add Rexahn to their watchlist, but as an investment I'd suggest keeping your distance until its pipeline is much further along than it is now.

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