Akcea and Ionis Pharma Win Big in Midstage Cardiovascular Disease Study

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Akcea Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: AKCA) and Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS) shares made a solid gain on Monday after the companies announced positive top-line data for a midstage trial in patients with established cardiovascular disease and elevated levels of lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a).

The goal of the Phase 2 study was to characterize the safety and tolerability of AKCEA-APO(a)-LRx and to inform dose and dose frequency selection for the planned Phase 3 cardiovascular outcomes study.

The study saw statistically significant dose-dependent reductions of Lp(a) compared to placebo at all dose levels, including low monthly doses of AKCEA-APO(a)-LRx.

Also, most patients in the active group achieved Lp(a) reductions below the established threshold of risk for cardiovascular disease events.

Paula Soteropoulos, CEO of Akcea Therapeutics, commented:

These data represent an important step forward for patients who have significant risk of premature death from cardiovascular disease due to their high levels of Lp(a). In this large Phase 2 study AKCEA-APO(a)-LRx, robustly lowered Lp(a) with a favorable safety and tolerability profile. In addition, the data from this study support the potential to treat patients with convenient, low volume monthly doses. These results are also encouraging as we continue to develop our LICA pipeline.

Shares of Akcea were last seen up about 10% at $30.87, with a consensus analyst price target of $37.00 and a 52-week trading range of $15.20 to $40.75.

Ionis shares traded up about 3% at $50.70. The consensus price target is $56.00 and the 52-week range is $39.07 to $65.51.