Cassava Sciences (SAVA) Stock Drops Despite Positive Trial Results


Editor’s note: This article was updated on July 17 to correct that Cassava shared results from its Cognition Maintenance Study, a small, proof-of-concept study. 

  • Cassava Sciences (SAVA) stock is down more than 11% today after mixed clinical results for its Alzheimer’s treatment, Simufilam.
  • Simufilam slowed cognitive decline by 38% in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s patients when compared to a placebo.
  • Unfortunately, this actually comes in a bit below expectations, especially next to rival treatments.
SAVA stock - Cassava Sciences (SAVA) Stock Drops Despite Positive Trial Results

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Cassava Sciences (NASDAQ:SAVA) stock is well in the red today despite announcing positive results for its Alzheimer’s treatment. Indeed, SAVA stock is down more than 10% at the time of this writing on relatively lukewarm clinical trial news.

What’s up with Cassava lately?

Well, it seems some investors have chosen to hop off the Cassava hype train in the face of mildly disappointing — but still promising — trial results from its Cognition Maintenance Study (CMS). In a release Wednesday, Cassava announced that its therapy, Simufilam, slowed cognitive decline by 38% in 157 enrolled patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s, compared to a placebo.

“In this context, we believe results of our 6-month study are encouraging, despite vast differences in patient selection and the design and results of our randomized withdrawal study compared to large Phase 3 trials,” said Chief Medical Officer James Kupiec.

Unfortunately, 38% efficacy represents a slight underperformance compared to rival Alzheimer’s treatments, namely Eli Lilly’s (NYSE:LLY) Donanemab therapy.

That said, this hasn’t stopped Dr. Suzanne Hendrix, CEO of Pentara — an independent consulting firm that performed statistical analysis on the clinical trial results — from sharing some kind words on the matter:

“Results for simufilam continue to be noteworthy. The lack of disease progression in cognition, as measured by the ADAS-Cog over 18 months of treatment in mild patients, is well outside the range in historic placebo decline rates from numerous other studies. The placebo group in the CMS has started to decline again but continues to maintain benefit over historical placebo groups.”

SAVA Stock Slips, Adding to Yearly Losses

Simufilam represents one of Cassava’s top prospects in regard to treatments currently in clinical trials. Indeed, aside from Simufilam, Cassava’s only other major pipeline program is SavaDx. According to The Motley Fool, SavaDx is “a blood-based diagnostic tool to detect Alzheimer’s.”

Accordingly, it may come as little surprise to see the underwhelming clinical trial results met with brutal investor backlash. With today’s near selloff, Cassava’s losses have only increased this year.

At the time of this writing, SAVA stock is down 20% year-to-date (YTD). That’s as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite enjoy strong gains of 16% and 33% over the same period, respectively.

On the date of publication, Shrey Dua did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

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