Intercept Pharmaceuticals: Biotech Stock of the Week
Biotechnology stocks continued the scorching pace that was seen throughout much of 2013. So far this week, the iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare ETF (NYSEARCA:IYH) appreciated by 2.4 percent as of Thursday’s close. While most investors would jump for a 2.4 percent gain in 1 week, that pales in comparison to the gains see by Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ICPT). Due to game changing news, Intercept Pharmaceuticals is the biotech stock of the week. Intercept Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat orphan and more prevalent liver diseases by utilizing its expertise in bile acid chemistry.
Yesterday morning, Intercept Pharmaceuticals announced that the FLINT Phase 2 trial of obeticholic acid (or, OCA) for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis “NASH” had been stopped early for efficacy based on a planned interim analysis showing that the primary endpoint of the trial had been met. The Data Safety Monitoring Board recommended that the trial be stopped early after determining that the OCA treatment resulted in a highly statistically significant improvement in the primary endpoint. The endpoint for the FLINT trial was a decrease in the NAFLD Activity Score of at least two points as compared to the placebo.
So what does this mean for shareholders? Well it’s extremely positive. Shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals soared by more than 270 percent on the news. That trading momentum has continued into today’s trading sessions with shares rising another 40 percent. Intercept Pharmaceuticals has gone from a company valued at just over $1 billion to one worth more than $7 billion. What a move!