Genocea Biosciences Posts Positive Herpes Trial Results

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Shares of Genocea Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GNCA) saw a handy gain early on Thursday on positive news from its genital herpes trial. Essentially, the company announced positive results from its ongoing Phase 2b trial evaluating a new Phase 3-ready formulation of GEN-003.

During the 28-day observation period immediately after completion of dosing, the 60 µg per protein / 50 µg of Matrix-M2 dose of GEN-003 demonstrated a statistically significant 40% reduction from baseline in the viral shedding rate versus a marginal increase of 6% for placebo.

The 60 µg per protein / 75 µg of Matrix-M2 dose demonstrated a 27% reduction in the viral shedding rate.

The viral shedding rate reduction for this dose was consistent with its performance at the same time point in a prior Phase 2 trial.

The results from this trial could be seen as highly beneficial to patients looking for an effective treatment that potentially offers greatly improved convenience over daily oral antivirals, the only current treatment option for millions suffering this disease.

Chip Clark, president and chief executive of Genocea, commented:

We are very encouraged by this positive data and have now selected a dose of 60 µg per protein / 50 µg of Matrix-M2 of GEN-003 for our planned Phase 3 trials. This is the third consecutive trial in which GEN-003 has demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in viral activity immediately post-dosing. In the previous Phase 2 trial, success in this measure translated into a significant impact on genital herpes clinical disease, durable to at least 12 months. This body of data supports our strong belief that GEN-003 could be a cornerstone treatment for genital herpes. We look forward to reporting six-month placebo-controlled clinical data from this trial in January 2017 and expect to commence our Phase 3 program in the second half of 2017.

Investor enthusiasm was short lived, though, as shares of Genocea were last seen down 9% at $5.20 on Thursday, with a consensus analyst price target of $16.83 and a 52-week trading range of $2.56 to $8.20.