Ariad (ARIA) Gets Crushed After Its Only Approved Treatment Is Put On Hold
Shares of Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA) crashed more than 70% last week, after the company reported that its top drug candidate, the leukemia drug Iclusig, had been put on a temporary hold by the FDA. The company announced that a number of patients given the drug experienced blood clots and heart damage. Daily Chart
Ariad stated that after two years of follow-up tests on patients taking the drug, it discovered that 11.8% suffered blood clots, 6.2% experienced cardiovascular problems, 4% suffered brain vascular issues, and 3.6% reported peripheral vascular trouble.
In addition, several patients reported more than one issue. Meanwhile, 2.9% experienced vein blockages, and 20% experienced artery and vein problems of varying degrees. Despite these troubles, Ariad claimed that it would eventually continue its mid-stage clinical trial, although future participants would be screened more closely to exclude those with prior cardiovascular problems. Regardless of Iclusig? future, its timeline will now be severely delayed, with the full data from the eventual late-stage trial now expected in the third or fourth quarters of fiscal 2014, according to RBC Capital Markets analyst Michael Yee. Iclusig was approved last December for two rare types of blood cancer, and is currently being tested in seven mid-stage studies for lung cancer, thyroid cancer, and another type of blood cancer. However, its current label already warns patients regarding the risk of blood clots and liver toxicity. At the end of last quarter, over 610 patients in the U.S. were given Iclusig. Ariad previously had a goal to treat 1,000 to 1,100 patients by the end of the year, but that hitting that target is now extremely unlikely due to recent developments. Last quarter, Ariad reported a loss of $0.37 per share, down from a loss of $0.31 per share in the prior year quarter. Thanks to the approval of Iclusig, revenue soared to $14 million, up from $0.32 million a year earlier. However, the launch of Iclusig caused a 244% year-over-year surge in selling, general, and administrative expenses to $42.1 million. A sudden lack of revenue growth and high expenses could mean investors should brace for a wider loss this quarter. Other News About ARIA Ariad Shares Plunge After Enrollment in Drug Trial Halted
Ariad hits a brick wall and shares crash. Ariad Plunges After FDA Places Trials of Iclusig on Hold
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Published on Oct 18, 2013
By Leo Sun