Genocea Biosciences, Inc. GNCA announced encouraging six-month data from a planned interim analysis of its ongoing placebo-controlled phase IIb study on GEN-003 for the treatment of genital herpes infections.
Shares of the company gained approximately 4% on the news. Genocea's stock has gained 8.3% in the past one year compared with Zacks classified Medical-Drugs industry's fall of the 14.4%.
Coming back to the press release, data showed that GEN-003 demonstrated statistically significant improvements in comparison with placebo across multiple clinical endpoints at six months after dosing. The 60 µg per antigen / 50 µg adjuvant dose of GEN-003 considerably reduced the rate of genital lesions during the six months, following dosing when compared to placebo. Therefore, data from the study support the selection of the 60 µg per antigen / 50 µg of adjuvant dose for the phase III program. Meanwhile, the company anticipates 12-month data from the study in the middle of 2017.
Last September, the company announced that the study achieved primary endpoint with GEN-003 demonstrating a statistically significant reduction of 40% in the rate of viral shedding in the 60 µg per antigen / 50 µg of adjuvant dose group in comparison to both baseline and placebo.
Genocea expects the end-of-phase II meeting with the FDA to take place in the first quarter of 2017. Positive feedback would allow the company to commence the phase III program on the candidate in the fourth quarter of 2017.
According to the company's press release, more than 400 million people across the world are affected by genital herpes. If successfully developed and subsequently approved, GEN-003 could have become the first new treatment for genital herpes in more than 20 years.
GENOCEA BIOSCI Price
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Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Genocea currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector include Cambrex Corporation CBM , Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ARNA and Anika Therapeutics Inc. ANIK . While Cambrex sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Arena and Anika carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .
Cambrex posted a positive earnings surprise in three of the four trailing quarters, with an average beat of 19.78%. Its share price was up 31.2% in the past one year.
Arena posted a positive earnings surprise in three of the four trailing quarters, with an average beat of 11.43%.
Anika's earnings estimates for 2016 and 2017 were up 3.9% and 0.5% respectively over the last 60 days. The company recorded a positive earnings surprise in each of the last four quarters, the average being 33.14%. Its share price was up 36.9% in the past one year.
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