Is This the Death of Versartis?

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Versartis Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAR) shares absolutely cratered on Friday after the firm announced results from its late-stage Velocity clinical trial of somavaratan in pediatric growth hormone deficiency (GHD). While Versartis might be broken after this trial, Ascendis Pharma A/S (NASDAQ: ASND) is capitalizing on the loss.

Both of these companies are focused on GHD, and with Versartis going back to the drawing board, Ascendis might not have any real competition. Ascendis still has to finish its enrollment for its Phase 3 trial in the fourth quarter of this year, and then start a couple trials at that time, with results expected in the second half of 2018.

The results from the Versartis Phase 3 trial did not meet the primary endpoint of non-inferiority. The 12-month height velocity for intent to treat patients receiving somavaratan twice monthly was 9.44 cm, versus 10.70 cm for those receiving Genotropin.

Jay Shepard, president and CEO of Versartis, commented:

We are very surprised and disappointed to learn the outcome of the Velocity trial. Somavaratan showed height velocity in the range we had hoped, but it was not sufficient to demonstrate non-inferiority in this trial. We have done an initial analysis of the top-line data and are continuing to thoroughly review the results to gain greater insight into the trial outcome. We plan to provide a corporate update later this year. I would like to thank the investigators, pediatric GHD patients and families that participated in the Velocity trial.

Shares of Versartis were last seen down about 85% at $3.15, with a consensus analyst price target of $31.00 and a 52-week range of $2.97 to $24.00.

Ascendis shares were trading up about 41% at $39.10. The stock has a 52-week range of $17.15 to $42.00.

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