Today was supposed to be a great day for Intercept Pharmaceuticals stock as the company announced forward movement in a Liver Fibrosis study. Unfortunately however, an insider sale took the spotlight and caused massive declines so far. Today, we’ll talk about the insider sale that caused the gains, the new information released by ICPT today, and what we can expect to see from the stock moving forward. So, let’s get right to it.
ICPT CEO Unloads 5,000 Shares
Mark Pruzanski, M.D. Is the CEO & President of Intercept Pharmaceuticals. On May 14th, he unloaded 5,000 shares worth a total of $1.5 million. However, this shouldn’t raise too much of a concern considering that the shares were sold as part of the automatic sales program. Mr. Pruzanski is left with 495,743 shares following the sale.
However, this may have caused investors to look at insider buys and sells for ICPT over the past year, and if it did, they probably noticed a bit of a concerning trend. According to NASDAQ, there have been 25 insider trades made in the past 3 months involving Intercept Pharmaceuticals. Interestingly enough, all 25 of these trades were sells; there hasn’t been an insider buy in the past three months. As a matter of fact, over the course of the last 12 months, 72 of the 82 insider trades made at ICPT have been sells; leaving only 10 buys in an entire year. All in all, a net 1,256,822 shares have been sold by insiders over the past year; with 768,381 shares being sold in the last 3 months.
As an investor and trader, I could see how this can be concerning for many. However, we shouldn’t forget about the positive data that came out today as well.
Phase 3 Trial Of OCA Announcement
Intercept Pharmaceuticals announced its plans for an international Phase 3 trial of obeticholic acid (OCA). OCA is the company’s leading FXR agonist and has received breakthrough therapy designation in the non-cirrhotic nonalcoholic patient population from the FDA as well as the EMA. The Phase 3 clinical trial is a Randomized Global trial in which 2,500 patients are expected to be enrolled. The plan is to assess the benefit of OCA treatment on liver-related clinical outcomes. In a statement, Mark Pruzanski, M.D., CEO of ICPT had the following to say…
“We are very pleased to announce the key aspects of our planned Phase 3 REGENERATE trial today, a culmination of our analyses of the FLINT trial results in OCA-treated NASH patients with advanced liver fibrosis and extensive collaboration with U.S. and European regulatory agencies…There are no approved medicines available to treat the disease which is why NASH is predicted to become the leading indication for liver transplant within the next few years.
What We Can Expect To See From ICPT Moving Forward
For me, this one is a bit of a toss up. On one hand, Intercept Pharmaceuticals has a strong pipeline and Phase 3 OCA testing seems to be incredibly positive news. However, looking at the share sales we’ve seen from the company’s insiders recently, one has to wonder, “What’s going on that I don’t know about?” With that said, I think that there may be more in the works than I’ve had the opportunity to discover. So, it’s not a good idea for me to make a prediction currently. However, this is definitely an interesting one to watch, and I’ll catch up with you on it some other time.