Ab science: A clinical trial suspension and many questions about AB Science

(BFM Bourse) – The AB Science share remains uncotable Tuesday at the start of the session in the face of the influx of sell orders, the biotech has just announced that it has identified a potential risk of heart attack during tests on its flagship molecule masitinib . The studies in progress are stopped, the time to investigate.

This is the most feared risk during the development of a new drug: the discovery of a potential health risk, forcing in any case to stop the studies in progress the time to analyze the data more in depth. With at the end of the day in the best case a delay more or less important, if the doubts are raised. And at worst, the outright stopping of development. In the case of AB Science and its masitinib, this would be a catastrophic outcome, since the only other molecule in the portfolio, AB8939, is still at a very early stage.

In this context, investors are trying to close their positions on AB Science, but with more than 465,000 securities sold “to the market” without sufficient purchase consideration, the security is unable to quote while the company has indicated that it had decided “to stop the inclusion of new patients as well as the initiation of treatment in its clinical studies worldwide with masitinib”, a treatment aimed at regulating the immune system in a very wide range of indications, while a risk of ischemic heart disease has just been detected.

This decision follows discussions with regulatory authorities both in France (ANSM) and abroad. This specifically concerns phase 3 in mastocytosis (AB15003), phase 3 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (AB19001) and phase 2 in Covid (AB20001). Biotech has therefore filed, or will file without delay, a request for a “temporary study stop” in all the countries concerned by these studies.

Lots of stocks sold before the announcement

AB Science explains that it detected, during a retrospective analysis of controlled and blindly released studies of masitinib, a potential risk of ischemic heart disease – cardiac disorders that can set in insidiously for years and go as far as infarction. .

“Patient safety is our priority. AB Science is committed to continuing the development of masitinib in the indications initiated, while guaranteeing patient safety. AB Science is working in full collaboration with the regulatory authorities in order to resume the inclusions in these indications. studies, “the company said in a statement.

But the announcement is coupled with an additional question. Last week, while this potentially catastrophic news had not occurred, the course of AB Science has already violently stalled. The stock lost 16.43% on Thursday and 9.91% on Friday, with 517,096 and then 611,966 shares traded respectively. That is to say the highest volumes of exchanges of the year after those of January 25, session where the share had benefited from a strong interest in the announcement of preclinical results on the antiviral effect of its molecule as a potential treatment of Covid.

Update: Even before a price could be established, Euronext Paris informed at 9:38 am that the quotation of AB SCIENCE shares was suspended “at the request of the company, pending the publication of ‘a press release and until further notice “.

Guillaume Bayre – © 2021 BFM Bourse

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