Neuralstem, Inc. (NASDAQ:CUR)
Neuralstem, Inc. (NASDAQ:CUR) stock plunged 49.64% on the company’s novel treatment for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) after failing to meet its primary endpoints in Phase 2 clinical trials. NSI-189 failed to significantly reduce depression symptoms on the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rate g Scale.
Neuralstem Sell Off
Neuralstem, Inc. (NASDAQ:CUR) is a clinical stage company specializing in the development of nervous system therapies based on human neuronal stem cells and small molecule compounds. The company boasts of a proprietary stem cell based technology that it uses to isolate and expand neural stem cells from the brain and spinal cord. NSI-189 is the company’s lead drug candidate under development as an oral antidepressant.
Tuesday’s sell-off threatens to push the stock even lower after finding stiff resistance at the $6 a share mark. The stock has been on an impressive run having rallied by more than 12% since May compared to a 3.4% rise in the S&P 500. However, it appears the momentum is slowly fading after a massive pull back from the highs of $6.50 a share mark set in June.
Analysts at ValueEngine have downgraded the stock to a ‘sell’ from a ‘hold’ following the mid-stage trial miss.
Disappointing Phase 2 Results
Disappointing trial results on NSI-189 is the last thing that Neuralstem, Inc. (NASDAQ:CUR) needed, given that it has been likely trading higher on optimism of favorable results on the Phase 2 trial. The 12-week study evaluated 220 subjects diagnosed with recurrent MDD and with minimum MADRS score of 29. The mean baseline MADRS score achieved in the trial was 32.
However, the chief principal investigator of the trial, Maurizio Fava, remains upbeat about the compounds prospects even on the shortcomings on primary endpoints.
“NSI-189 is a novel small molecule that has shown a potential signal of efficacy in this trial. We are encouraged by its emerging clinical profile, and continuing the clinical evaluation of NSI-189 to pursue its full potential is warranted,” said Mr. Fava.
Neuralstem’s Chief Executive Officer, Rich Daly, says they plan to carry out further evaluation of the full data sets buoyed by the positive signals across various depression scales. The executive remains confident on NSI-189 being the next generation treatment for MDD given its potential to remodel the hippocampus. Neuralstem, Inc. (NASDAQ:CUR) also plans to test the drug in additional indications that affect cognition.
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.