ESSA Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:EPIX)
Shares of ESSA Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:EPIX) declined 36.61% after the clinical pharmaceutical company announced the discontinuation of EPI-506, a novel treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. The decision came as a surprise as the candidate drug is fresh from generating top line results in Phase 1 clinical trials.
Clinical results presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology indicate that EPI-506 was well tolerated with a favorable safety profile on all doses of up to 2400mg. The drug was administered in men with end-stage metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (“mCRPC”). The advanced effects reported in the trial included nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
“Signs of efficacy at higher-dose levels in this open-label Phase 1 clinical trial, combined with the overall safety profile, indicate that our unique approach of inhibiting the Androgen Receptor N-terminal domain may provide a clinical benefit to mCRPC patients,” said Frank Perabo, Chief Medical Officer.
Discontinuation of EPI-506 did not go well with investors as they pushed the stock lower and fuled a sell-off wave that began in April. The stock is currently trading at the lower end of $0.26 – $0.38 trading range as it closes in on its 52-week low of $0.25 a share.
Focus On NTD Inhibitor
ESSA Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:EPIX) says it is discontinuing EPI-506 to prioritize the development of one of its next generation NTD inhibitor, which has a greater potency and enhanced pharmaceutical properties.
“We were encouraged by the data from the Phase 1 portion of the Phase 1/2 clinical trial and are pleased to have established the safety and clinical utility of targeting the N-terminal domain (“NTD”) in refractory mCRPC patients,” said David Parkinson, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of ESSA Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:EPIX).
According to the Chief Executive Officer, the next generation antigen program is similar to EPI-506 but with a higher potential of delivering increased potency. The antigen compounds represent a new class of drugs that are designed to improve a number of attributes of EPI-506.
A shift of focus to the antigen program should result in lower cash expenditures of up to $7 million relative to fiscal 2017. The reduction is primarily attributed to the discontinuation of EPI-6 clinical costs. ESSA Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:EPIX) had a total of $7.2 million in cash and cash equivalent as of the end of June. The resources are sufficient to finance operations into the fourth quarter.
I have no positions in any of the stocks mentioned, and have no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. All information, including any data, is provided without any guarantees of accuracy.
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About the author: Monica has an undergraduate degree in Accounting and an MBA she earned – with Honors. She has six years of experience in the financial markets and has been an analyst for the past two years.