Shares of AnaptysBio, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANAB), a clinical-stage biotechnology company, rose 11.1% in midday trading on Wednesday before locking in a 9.4% gain to end the day. Investors appear excited about a recently announced engagement at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.
On Saturday, Feb. 17, AnaptysBio will present data from a phase 2a atopic dermatitis (eczema) trial involving the most advanced candidate the company owns outright, ANB020. The novel new drug candidate inhibits interleukin-33 (IL-33), a mediator of skin-related disorders.
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Since IL-33 acts upstream of IL-4 and IL-13, two proteins inhibited by Dupixent, there's a chance ANB020 could be far more effective at stopping inflammation than the recently launched drug. Dupixent is expected to generate peak annual sales exceeding $4 billion for partners Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) and Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN).
AnaptysBio didn't reveal much in its release, but investors can probably look forward to positive data. The company plans to begin a big multi-center trial with between 200 and 300 eczema patients in the first half of the year. Beyond eczema, ANB020 is also in midstage trials for peanut allergies and eosinophilic asthma, both of which should read out in the first half as well.
While AnaptysBio funds development of ANB020 on its own, Tesaro (NASDAQ: TSRO) will fund a phase 3 ovarian-cancer trial with big implications for AnaptysBio. The study, slated to begin in the first half, will test Zejula in combination with TSR-042, a checkpoint inhibitor candidate Tesaro licensed from AnaptysBio.
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