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Galapagos Pops 9% On Positive Result Of Novesa Trial

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support@smarteranalyst.com (Ben Mahaney)
·2 min read
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Shares of Galapagos (GLPG) rose 8.8% on Friday after the company reported positive topline results in the Phase 2a Novesa trial for its investigational ziritaxestat (GLPG1690) treatment in patients with diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (dcSSc).

DcSSc is a severe autoimmune disease, which according to the company has the highest mortality rates among rheumatic disease and there are no drugs currently available to treat the overall disease.

Galapagos is developing the oral autotaxin inhibitor, ziritaxestat, in alliance with Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD). The company said that the Novesa Phase 2a trial was conducted with 33 patients and it recorded no deaths during the study.

Galapagos Chief Medical Officer Walid Abi-Saab, said "Keeping in mind that this is our first study in SSc and that the impact on skin is difficult to measure on a background treatment with immunosuppressants, we are pleased with the results reported. We will now further analyze the Novesa data to determine next steps in SSc, a disease with important unmet medical need.” (See GLPD stock analysis on TipRanks).

Following the company’s announcement Stifel Nicolaus analyst Derek Archila reiterated his Hold rating on the stock saying that the results are “Modest Positive” but are “But Not Meaningfully De-risking.” Archila noted, “We had hoped GLPG may have reported key secondary measures which could have shed some insight on ziritaxestat's efficacy on lung function, relevant for its ongoing Phase 3 in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), but this is likely to come at a future medical meeting.”

Currently, the Street is sidelined on the stock. The Hold analyst consensus is based on 8 Holds, 2 Buys, and 1 Sell. With shares down nearly 34% year-to-date, the average analyst price target of $163.66 implies upside potential of 19.6% from current levels.

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