Healthcare Business

How Cassava Sciences Could Be Pioneering a Groundbreaking Alzheimer's Treatment

Cassava Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: SAVA) was one of Monday’s biggest winners after the company reported midstage results from its clinical study in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). There aren’t many companies out there with AD treatments, the only real notable one is Biogen, but if Cassava has a breakthrough it would be the lone company in this field.

In terms of the specifics, the results came from the Phase 2b study with sumifilam in AD. The clinical study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Overall, sumifilam significantly improved an entire panel of validated biomarkers of disease in patients with AD. The ability to improve multiple biomarkers from distinct biological pathways with one drug has never been shown before in patients with AD.

Additionally, patients treated with sumifilam showed directional improvements in tests of remembering new information, versus patients on placebo. Improvements in cognition correlated most strongly with decreases in P-tau181, a biomarker that, when elevated, leads to tangles in the brain. Sumifilam decreased brain levels of Ptau-181 by 8% to 11%, versus placebo.

Management noted that the clinical data suggest sumifilam may be slowing disease progression in Alzheimer’s patients, which is an exciting possibility that will need to be evaluated in future collaborations with patients, physicians, advisors and others.

Again, other than a few drugs to help ease the decline, there’s really nothing out there to treat people with AD. Also, the improvement on multiple biomarkers in this clinical study is a first and offers hope that sumifilam has potential to become a transformative treatment for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Excluding Monday’s move, Cassava stock has underperformed the broad markets so far in 2020 with the stock down about 36%. However, in the past 52 weeks, the stock is up closer to 172%.

Cassava Sciences stock was last seen up about 137% at $7.88 on Monday, in a 52-week range of $1.05 to $10.95. The consensus price target is $16.00.