GlycoMimetics Inc (NASDAQ:GLYC) isn’t a household name, but today’s 20% gain is putting a much-needed positive spin on the GLYC stock story this year. Over the past two days, GlycoMimetics shares have added roughly 150%, a spike the likes of which GLYC stock holders have been hoping for since 2014.
The catalyst came when GLYC — a company specializing in sickle cell and cancer — announced a high overall response rate with low mortality during Phase 2 trials of GMI-1271. GMI-1271 is an E-selectin antagonist, a treatment intended to prevent tumors, leukocyte activation and other inflammatory conditions related to cancer.
GlycoMimetics’ E-selectin is for use in patients diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
AML patients treated during the company’s Phase-2 trials were met with higher rates of remission and lower rates of mortality. No noticeable toxicity was observed.
Vice President of Clinical Development and Chief Medical Chief Helen Thackray sounded an optimistic note:
“We are increasingly confident that our investigational drug, GMI-1271, may play a role in addressing unmet needs in this cancer. It is particularly noteworthy to see in the relapsed/refractory cohort that patients who have higher levels of the E-selectin ligand biomarker on their leukemic blasts appear to be more likely to achieve remission of their disease.”
On Thursday, GLYC’s GMI-1271 was given a designation of “Breakthrough Therapy” from the FDA, which propelled GLCY stock to a 98% one-day gain. (Even on Friday, GLYC share volume is at 25.7 million, far and away above its average 1.3 million.) With its Breakthrough title, the biotech company can essentially fast-track the development and review process of its drug candidates, which Thackray notes:
“The FDA’s granting to GMI-1271 of Breakthrough Therapy designation will further help GlycoMimetics to accelerate the development of GMI-1271 as a treatment for this very difficult-to-treat patient population … We believe GMI-1271 when combined with chemotherapy has the potential to address an unmet therapeutic need for individuals living with AML. We are encouraged by our clinical results to date, and look forward to working closely with the FDA to bring this novel therapy to patients as quickly as possible.”
Prior to this week, the Rockville-based company had languished as investors twiddled their thumbs waiting for profitability. (The company hasn’t seen a profitable quarter since the second quarter of 2015.) What’s more, it has generated a whopping nothing in revenue for the past year. Considering that it’s losing about $32 million or so every quarter and only has $40 million in cash, its runway is fast approaching gravel.
The past two days, however, have reaffirmed the faith that analysts have in GLYC stock — three “strong buy” ratings and two “buy” calls. Just make sure to do your due diligence before diving headfirst into the bullish pool GlycoMimetics now finds itself in.