Sarepta Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SRPT) is a company which many biohealth and biotech investors have likely never heard of. At least before today. How many shares rise more than 150% when there is not a buyout in the works?
Sarepta shares have risen 165% on Wednesday after reporting positive clinical trial data for its Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug called eteplirsen. The company said that the drug slows disease progression and also increased levels of protein dystrophin in patients. It is of little surprise that eteplirsen is Sarepta’s leading drug candidate.
It is low levels of these proteins which are said to be the cause of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is said to be present in only about 1 in 3,600 males infants.
We would note that Sarepta’s share price had already more than doubled from summer lows ahead of this study. The $14.99 close on Tuesday compares to a prior 52-week range of $3.00 to $17.12, but shares hit a high of $43.10 on Wednesday morning.
As of 12:45 PM EST we have seen more than 19.4 million shares trade hands. The average daily volume is only about 1.5 million shares. Its market cap is still under $1 billion at about $888 million.
What is interesting is that an SEC filing this morning was not exactly favorable. It said, “On October 2, 2012, the Company received notice from the U.S. Department of Defense that the Ebola portion of the contract for Advanced Development of Hemorrhagic Fever Virus Therapeutics is being terminated, effective immediately, for the convenience of the government due to funding constraints. The Company previously received a stop-work order for the Ebola portion of the contract which was in effect from August 2, 2012 through the termination on October 2, 2012. The termination only applies to the Ebola portion of the contract and the Marburg portion remains in effect.”
Sarepta does not appear to be a one-story company. Outside of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and Ebola studies, it has studies for Marburg Virus, influenza, Dengue and TB. If you wish to learn more about Sarepta its R&D Pipeline is shown here.
JON C. OGG