Shares of biopharma company Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT) rocketed up more than 280% in Thursday trading after a FLINT trial for one of its drugs achieved its endpoint and was halted ahead of schedule.
Intercept Pharmaceuticals said the trial of obeticholic acid (OCA) was stopped after an analysis indicated that it had demonstrated its efficacy. ICPT CEO Mark Pruzanski hailed the news, saying “The unexpected early stopping of (the trial) due to OCA meeting the primary endpoint with such high significance is a major milestone.”
The ICPT drug is meant to treat nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a chronic condition affecting the liver. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, NASH “resembles alcoholic liver disease, but occurs in people who drink little or no alcohol” and can lead to cirrhosis.
The trial, which monitored patients receiving a daily 25 mg oral dose of OCA over a 72-week treatment period, showed a “highly statistically significant improvement” in patients receiving the ICPT treatment. Based on the results, the Data Safety Monitoring Board recommended that the trial be halted.
ICPT stock went public in October 2012 at $15 per share. At mid-Thursday’s price around $280, ICPT stock has returned more than 1,700% since going public.