Why Axovant Is Getting Absolutely Crushed

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Axovant Sciences Ltd. (NASDAQ: AXON) shares cratered early on Tuesday after the firm provided an update from its late-stage Alzheimer’s trial. Specifically, the firm gave an update from its Phase 3 Mindset clinical trial of its investigational drug intepirdine in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease who were receiving background donepezil therapy.

Although Axovant has made an incredible run so far in 2017, it seems that after this failed trial that the stock is giving most of it back. Excluding Tuesday’s move, the stock was up 95% year to date, and over the past 52-weeks the stock was up 59%.

Ultimately, the trial did not meet its co-primary endpoints. Patients did not experience improvement in cognition or in measures of activities of daily living as measured by the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale and by the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living scale.

Separately, the Headway trial studying intepirdine in patients with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) remains on track to report topline results at the end of 2017. Intepirdine has received Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of DLB.

David Hung, M.D., CEO of Axovant, commented:

While we are deeply disappointed by these trial results, we also are saddened for the millions of patients and families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. However, we believe that the fight against Alzheimer’s and other important areas of unmet need in neurology is too important to be derailed by this setback. We are grateful to the investigators, patients and caregivers who participated in this important trial and supported us in this journey. Moreover, we remain committed to advancing our pipeline, which includes our Phase 2b HEADWAY study of intepirdine, and nelotanserin, our highly selective inverse agonist of the 5-HT2A receptor in Phase 2 development, both of which are being evaluated in patients with dementia with Lewy bodies.

Shares of Axovant closed Monday down 3% to $24.25, with a consensus analyst price target of $29.25 and a 52-week range of $11.01 to $27.98. Following the release, the stock was down about 73.5% to $6.43 in early trading indications Tuesday.