ICAgen’s (ICGN-NASDAQ) stock is being crushed in after-hours trading, although the trading volume is very light. Shares are down 37% to $1.15 after closing down 2.6% today. Read on, because this one sounds in trouble.
Following a planned meeting of the independent Data MonitoringCommittee of its ASSERT trial of senicapoc (formerly ICA-17043) for thetreatment of sickle cell disease in adults, the DMC recommended thatthe trial be terminated because of the low probability of achieving areduction in crisis rate, the primary endpoint. The DMC noted that datafrom the trial indicated the expected increases in hemoglobin andhematocrit and decreases in reticulocytes as well as LDH and bilirubin,both markers of hemolysis. There were no statistically significantdifferences in safety measurements between the senicapoc and placebotreatment groups. The Company has informed the FDA of its plan toterminate the study based upon the DMC’s recommendation. Ouch.
It still has some pre-clinical studies, which we noted over theweekend, in compounds that are being studied in Dementia andAlzheimer’s Disease. Unfortunately, pre-clinical studies are onething. Failing a PHASE III is kick where it counts. This company onlyhad a $69.5 million market cap before the drop, so now it is indicatedaround $46 million. It had $25.1 million in cash as of 12/31/06 andwas burning roughly $6 million per quarter, so it is not in a greatcash spot and this news has the shot of closing off the capital marketsvia traditional financing terms.
Jon C. Ogg
April 3, 2007
Jon Ogg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; he does not own securities in the companies he covers.