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 Receptos (UNKNOWN:RCPT.DL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies to treat immune disorders, surged higher by as much as 26% after the company released an abstract including additional data from its RADIANCE study of relapsing multiple sclerosis drug RPC1063. It also plans to present this additional data at the MS Boston conference this coming Saturday.
So what: According to the additional abstract released today, RPC1063 was shown to cause a 53% annualized relapse reduction in the highest dosing group, which, as Investors Business Daily pointed out, is right in line with some recently approved multiple sclerosis therapies such as Biogen Idec's (NASDAQ:BIIB) Tecfidera. This is simply additional good news for Receptos which announced in June that RPC1063 resulted in an 86% reduction in lesion for patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis. If RPC1063 proves to be as effective as Tecfidera at reducing relapse rates it could eat into Biogen's rapidly growing market share.
Now what: We've certainly witnessed steady improvement in MS-based lesion reduction and lower relapses of MS incidence in recent years (in clinical trials) through the development of new oral meds, but the need for more options and better medications is still clearly there. Today's response data clearly puts Receptos on the radar of investors looking to buy into drugs which have the potential to drastically change patients' quality of life for the better. Of course, investors should also keep in the back of their minds that Receptos is still wholly clinical and losing money, but is now pushing a $1.6 billion valuation, so this optimism may well be priced in already.