Cytokinetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CYTK) investors hit the panic button following the news that the drug maker is discontinuing development of tirasemtiv for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as the Phase III VITALITY-ALS trial did not meet the primary endpoint of change from baseline in slow vital capacity at 24 weeks following randomization or any of the secondary endpoints, evaluated at 48 weeks.
Cytokinetics shares reacted to the news, falling nearly 30% to $7.78 in early trading Tuesday.
Cytokinetics CEO Robert I. Blum commented, “While we are deeply disappointed by the results of VITALITY-ALS, we remain committed to people with ALS who are fighting this devastating disease and who need new therapies to slow the decline of respiratory function and muscle strength that are key hallmarks of disease progression […] We have decided to suspend the development of tirasemtiv. While we believe that VITALITY-ALS demonstrated pharmacologic activity for the mechanism of action, we also believe that limitations of tirasemtivmay be addressed with our next-generation fast skeletal muscle activator, CK-2127107. Based on previous Phase 1 clinical studies, we believe CK-2127107 will be better tolerated and potentially more effective than tirasemtiv in patients with ALS and look forward to Phase 2 trial results in 2018. We are grateful to the trial investigators, site personnel, patients and caregivers who participated in VITALITY-ALS.”
On the ratings front, Cytokinetics stock has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on October 29, Cowen analyst Ritu Baral reiterated a Buy rating on CYTK, with a price target of $19, which represents a potential upside of 71% from where the stock is currently trading. On October 27, H.C. Wainwright’s Joseph Pantginis reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $26.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Ritu Baral and Joseph Pantginis have a yearly average return of 24.7% and a loss of 19.0% respectively. Baral has a success rate of 52% and is ranked #80 out of 4723 analysts, while Pantginis has a success rate of 28% and is ranked #4666.
Overall, 6 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $20.50 which is 84.7% above where the stock closed yesterday.
Cytokinetics operates as a biopharmaceutical company, which focuses on the discovery and development of muscle activators as potential treatment for debilitating diseases. It conducts a Phase 2 clinical trials program for tirasemtiv, including a Phase 2b clinical trial in patients with ALS, known as BENEFIT-ALS (Blinded Evaluation of Neuromuscular Effects and Functional Improvement with Tirasemtiv in ALS).