U.S. markets closed
  • S&P 500

    +10.51 (+0.24%)
  • Dow 30

    +82.76 (+0.24%)
  • Nasdaq

    +3.72 (+0.03%)
  • Russell 2000

    +7.27 (+0.33%)
  • Crude Oil

    +0.09 (+0.12%)
  • Gold

    -4.10 (-0.23%)
  • Silver

    +0.02 (+0.09%)

    +0.0040 (+0.34%)
  • 10-Yr Bond

    -0.0100 (-0.78%)

    +0.0060 (+0.44%)

    -0.1300 (-0.12%)

    +3,386.76 (+9.84%)
  • CMC Crypto 200

    -10.48 (-1.14%)
  • FTSE 100

    -2.15 (-0.03%)
  • Nikkei 225

    +285.29 (+1.04%)

Apellis' (APLS) Empaveli Succeeds in Treatment-Naive PNH Study

·4 min read

Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. APLS and its partner Swedish Orphan Biovitrum (Sobi) announced that the phase III study — PRINCE — evaluating their targeted C3 therapy, Empaveli (pegcetacoplan) in treatment-naïve paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) patients met its co-primary endpoints.

Data from the study showed that treatment with Empaveli achieved statistically superiority in hemoglobin stabilization and reduction in lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) compared to standard of care (SoC; excludes complement inhibitors) after 26 weeks of treatment. Please note that high levels of LDH indicate some form of tissue damage, including red blood cells.

Data from the PRINCE study showed that 86% of patients treated with Empaveli achieved hemoglobin stabilization, defined as less than 1g/dL decrease in hemoglobin levels in the absence of blood transfusions, compared to 0% for SoC. Moreover, mean LDH levels decreased 90% from baseline versus 14% for SoC.

Meanwhile, Empavel also met several secondary endpoints of the PRINCE study, including improvements in hemoglobin levels and transfusion avoidance, with statistical superiority.

A rare blood disorder, PNH is associated with abnormally low hemoglobin levels as the disease destroys red blood cells.

Shares of Apellis have plunged 15.6% so far this year compared with the industry’s decrease of 4.9%.

Please note that the PRINCE study evaluated twice-daily 1080mg dose of Empaveli compared to SoC in treatment-naïve patients, defined as patients who have not received treatment with any complement inhibitor within three months prior to screening.

We remind investors that the FDA approved Empaveli as a monotherapy treatment for adult patients suffering from PNH for treatment-naïve patients as well as for patients switching from Alexion’s ALXN C5 inhibitor therapies for PNH — Soliris (eculizumab) and Ultomiris (ravulizumab).

The FDA approval was based on positive data from the head-to-head phase III study — PEGASUS — that demonstrated improvement in hemoglobin levels in PNH patients following treatment with Empaveli compared to Soliris.

Notably, a marketing authorization application seeking approval for Empaveli as treatment for PNH patients is under review in Europe. A potential approval is anticipated in the second half of 2021.

Apart from PNH, Apellis is developing Empaveli for systemic administration in several indications. Empaveli is being evaluated as a monotherapy in two phase III studies, namely, DERBY and OAKS, for treating patients with geographic atrophy. Top-line data from the same is expected in the third quarter of 2021.

We note that Empaveli has just been approved by the FDA and is yet to generate incremental revenues for the company. The drug will likely face stiff competition from Soliris and Ultomiris, which are also approved for treating PNH. Also, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals ALNY is conducting early clinical studies to develop cemdisiran, an RNAi therapeutic targeting C5. Nomacopan, a small protein C5 complement inhibitor, is being developed by Akari Therapeutics AKTX in late-stage studies. Stiff competition in the target market will be a challenge for Apellis.

Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price

Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price
Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price

Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. price | Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Quote

Zacks Rank

Apellis currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

+1,500% Growth: One of 2021’s Most Exciting Investment Opportunities

In addition to the stocks you read about above, would you like to see Zacks’ top picks to capitalize on the Internet of Things (IoT)? It is one of the fastest-growing technologies in history, with an estimated 77 billion devices to be connected by 2025. That works out to 127 new devices per second.

Zacks has released a special report to help you capitalize on the Internet of Things’s exponential growth. It reveals 4 under-the-radar stocks that could be some of the most profitable holdings in your portfolio in 2021 and beyond.

Click here to download this report FREE >>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALNY) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Akari Therapeutics PLC (AKTX) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (APLS) : Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

Zacks Investment Research