Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SRPT), a developer of innovative RNA-targeted therapeutics, today announced additional clinical efficacy and safety data from the Company’s Phase IIb program of eteplirsen in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). The data demonstrated that eteplirsen provided a statistically significant advantage of 151 meters in the ability of study participants to walk at three years, compared with external controls. Further, the fourth biopsy data confirmed the mechanism of action of eteplirsen, demonstrating exon skipping in all patients and dystrophin production in nearly all patients. Safety data remained consistent with prior results.
Eteplirsen, Sarepta’s lead drug candidate, is designed to target the underlying cause of DMD by enabling the production of a functional dystrophin protein in patients with mutations amenable to exon 51 skipping. Approximately 13 percent of people with DMD are estimated to have a mutation targeted by eteplirsen/exon 51 skipping.
“We are encouraged by the positive clinical outcomes, such as the statistically significant difference in the 6MWT in eteplirsen-treated patients compared to a control, especially since we see them accompanied by data that continues to demonstrate exon skipping and dystrophin production in most patients,” said Edward Kaye, M.D., Sarepta’s interim chief executive officer and chief medical officer. “We are committed to bringing eteplirsen and our other investigational exon skipping therapies to patients with DMD and will continue to work with all stakeholders to advance these programs as quickly as possible so we can better address the unmet need for treatments in the DMD community.”
Results of Sarepta’s Phase IIb program were included in the New Drug Application (NDA) that Sarepta submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for eteplirsen for the treatment of DMD amenable to exon 51 skipping. The primary clinical endpoint in the NDA was the comparison of the 6MWT ITT analysis of the eteplirsen-treated group compared to an external control with similar inclusion criteria. The FDA granted eteplirsen Priority Review status and assigned a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) action date of February 26, 2016. Previously, the FDA granted Rare Pediatric Disease Designation to eteplirsen, as well Orphan Drug Designation and Fast Track Status.
New Long-Term Efficacy Data
- Patients who were treated with eteplirsen experienced a statistically significant 151 meter difference in the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) at three years compared with external DMD controls. The 6MWT is a well-accepted measure of ambulation and clinical function in patients with DMD. (p<0.01).
- Eteplirsen-treated patients had a lower rate of loss of ambulation than external DMD controls over three years.
- Eteplirsen-treated patients experienced a slower rate of decline through Week 192 than external DMD controls.
- Pulmonary function remained relatively stable through approximately four years in eteplirsen-treated patients.
New results from a fourth biopsy performed on 11 patients demonstrated that exon skipping occurred in 100 percent of patients after 180 weeks of treatment, confirming the mechanism of action of eteplirsen. In addition, biochemical evidence from three quantification methods, analysis of dystrophin positive fibers, dystrophin intensity and Western Blot testing, confirmed that dystrophin was present in most patients following eteplirsen treatment.
Fourth Biopsy Results
- Confirmed exon skipping in 100% of patients
- Percent dystrophin-positive fibers increased (p<0.001) in comparison to untreated controls
- Dystrophin intensity increased (p<0.001) in comparison to untreated controls
- Western Blot confirmed presence of dystrophin protein in 9 of 11 (82%) of eteplirsen-treated patients at Week 180 vs 1 of 9 (11%) in the DMD control biopsies
New Long-Term Safety Data
New results from Sarepta’s safety database, which includes approximately 100 patients exposed to eteplirsen, showed that the eteplirsen safety profile remained consistent with prior results. Common adverse drug reactions included flushing, erythema, and mild temperature elevation. No pulmonary embolisms, hospitalizations, injection site reactions or thrombocytopenia have been observed. (Original Source)
Shares of Sarepta Therapeutics closed yesterday at $32.11. SRPT has a 1-year high of $41.47 and a 1-year low of $11.33. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $35.65 and its 200-day moving average is $26.05.
On the ratings front, Sarepta Therapeutics has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released yesterday, William Blair analyst Tim Lugo maintained a Buy rating on SRPT, with a price target of $52, which represents a potential upside of 61.9% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on September 28, Oppenheimer’s Christopher Marai reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $45.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Tim Lugo and Christopher Marai have a total average return of -13.4% and 13.6% respectively. Lugo has a success rate of 26.1% and is ranked #3618 out of 3755 analysts, while Marai has a success rate of 46.3% and is ranked #192.
The street is mostly Bullish on SRPT stock. Out of 8 analysts who cover the stock, 7 suggest a Buy rating and one recommends to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $46.00, which represents a potential upside of 43.3% from where the stock is currently trading.
Sarepta Therapeutics Inc is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of unique RNA-targeted therapeutics for the treatment of rare, infectious and other diseases.