Updated December 27th, 2023 at 22:13 IST
San Francisco pharma firm Cytokinetics heart drug succeeds in study, shares surge
Shares of Cytokinetics surged over 80% to touch a more than a 19-year high of $83.82.
The experimental heart disease drug of San Francisco-based Cytokinetics has met the main goal of a keenly awaited late-stage study, putting it on track to compete with a rival treatment from Bristol Myers Squibb, the company has said.
Analysts termed the data a "home-run" and stated that the treatment aficamten's safety and efficacy compared favourably to Bristol's Camzyos.
Meanwhile, shares of Cytokinetics surged over 80 per cent to touch a more than a 19-year high of $83.82, on track to add as much as $3.74 billion to its market cap. The success of the company and the study are "inextricably linked" at this point, said Oppenheimer analyst Justin Kim, adding that it could bring in about $2 billion in peak US sales. Cytokinetics CEO Robert Blum said that he spent a lot of time with analysts and investors discussing "what would good look like" and the data met the "high expectations" set ahead of the announcement.
The company plans to seek marketing approval for the drug in the United States and Europe in the second half of 2024 to treat obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, where heart muscles become stiff and can cause cardiac arrest. Aficamten helped significantly improve patients' exercise capacity, the study's main goal, compared to placebo after 24 weeks of treatment. Peak oxygen capacity, measured in terms of milliliters per minute per kilogram of body weight, improved by 1.74 points on average, versus the 1.4 point improvement seen in the study of Bristol's drug. At least two analysts said the data reflects aficamten's "best-in-class" potential and could be supportive of buyout interest in Cytokinetics. Cytokinetics has attracted interest from at least one major drugmaker and other bidders may have been waiting for the data, Bloomberg reported in October.Treatment with aficamten was not interrupted in study due to lower levels of the heart's ability to pump blood from the left ventricle.
(With Reuters inputs)
Published December 27th, 2023 at 22:13 IST