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Ionis (IONS) Crashes as Roche-Partnered Huntington's Drug Fails

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Shares of Ionis Pharmaceuticals IONS plunged 20% on Monday after its partner Roche RHHBY announced its decision to stop dosing in a phase III study of tominersen in Huntington’s disease (HD), a rare neurodegenerative disease. The decision was taken on the recommendation of an Independent Data Monitoring Committee (iDMC) which was based on a pre-planned review of the data from the study (GENERATION HD1) by the committee.

No new safety signals were identified in the review for the candidate. However, iDMC’s recommendation was based on potential benefit/risk profile for study participants.

Meanwhile, Roche said that dosing will also be paused in the open-label extension study (GEN-EXTEND) of tominersen. It will analyze the results of the phase III study. Meanwhile, the phase I PK/PD study (GEN-PEAK) of tominersen and the observational Roche HD Natural History Study will continue

This year so far, the company’s shares have declined 1.6% against an increase of 2.3% for the industry.

Tominersen was a key late-stage candidate in Ionis partnered pipeline. Ionis has six pivotal phase III studies ongoing for five medicines (internal as well as partnered), which include other than tominersen, tofersen for SOD1- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), pelacarsen for cardiovascular disease due to elevated Lp(a) levels; IONIS-APOCIII-LRx for familial chylomicronemia syndrome, or FCS and IONIS-TTR-LRx for TTR amyloidosis. While tofersen is being developed in partnership with Biogen BIIB, pelacarsen is being developed with Novartis NVS. Ionis is developing IONIS-APOCIII-LRx for FCS and IONIS-TTR-LRx for TTR on its own.

Ionis currently carries a Zacks Rank #4(Sell).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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