Furiex Pharmaceuticals Doubles, But Stock Is Now Fairly Priced
Today’s biotech stock of the day is Furiex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:FURX). Shares of Furiex jumped more than 130 percent after the company reported positive top-line results from two pivotal Phase III clinical trials. The trials were evaluating the efficacy and safety of eluxadoline in the treatment of diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (or, IBS-d). Both of the trials met the agreed upon endpoints of composite response based on simultaneous improvements in stool consistency and abdominal pain.
Eluxadoline is a novel, orally active investigational agent with combined mu-opioid receptor agonist and delta opioid receptor antagonist activity that acts locally in the gut and has very low oral bioavailability. This dual opioid activity is designed to treat diarrhea and pain symptoms of IBS-d without causing the constipation side effects that can occur with unopposed mu-opioid agonists.
Both of the studies demonstrated statistically significant higher response rates for the targeted endpoints. In Study 3001, Furiex reported that patients given 100mg of eluxadoline demonstrated a responder rate of 25.1 percent over weeks 1-12 (FDA endpoint) compared to just 17.1 percent for the placebo group. For the period comprising weeks 1-26 (EMA endpoint), patients given 100mg of eluxadoline demonstrated a responder rate of 29.3 percent compared to just 19.0 percent for the placebo group. In Study 3002, Furiex reported the following results.
- Over weeks 1-12, patients given 100mg of eluxadoline demonstrated a 29.5 percent responder rate compared to just 16.2 percent for patients receiving the placebo.
- Over weeks 1-26, patients given 100mg of eluxadoline demonstrated a 32.6 percent responder rate compared to just 20.2 percent for patients receiving the placebo.