Arena Pharmaceuticals Wins Big in Midstage Trial

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Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA) watched its shares climb early on Tuesday after the firm announced positive midstage results from its OASIS trial for etrasimod. The Phase 2 topline results that the firm reported achieved statistically significant improvements versus placebo in the primary, all secondary and clinical remission endpoints.

24/7 Wall St. previously had called that this would be a stock to watch this month in our March FDA Calendar. There are plenty more stocks to keep an eye on through the end of this month.

Relative to placebo, there was a statistically significant 0.99 point improvement in a three-component (stool frequency, rectal bleeding and findings on endoscopy) Mayo Clinic Score with etrasimod 2 mg at week 12. Significantly more patients in the etrasimod 2 mg group achieved endoscopic improvement compared with placebo (41.8% versus 17.8%).

The proportion of patients achieving clinical remission, defined by the three-component Mayo Clinic Score, was 33.0% in the etrasimod 2 mg group compared to 8.1% for the placebo group.

William Sandborn, M.D., professor of medicine; chief, Division of Gastroenterology; and director, University of California San Diego Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, commented:

The results of this Phase 2 trial are impressive and demonstrate statistically significant efficacy of orally administered etrasimod, including clinically meaningful improvement in remission, as well as endoscopic improvement in what has been historically referred to as mucosal healing. Despite recent advances in treatment options, there remains a significant unmet need for new oral therapies for ulcerative colitis. I look forward to etrasimod advancing into a Phase 3 program.

Shares of Arena were last seen up more than 34% at $41.55, with a consensus analyst price target of $51.57 and a 52-week range of $11.30 to $44.50.

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