Opexa shares soar on multiple sclerosis drug data Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 08 September 2009 15:03
Opexa Therapeutics (Nasdaq:OPXA) said on Tuesday further analysis of clinical data shows that more than 83 percent of patients taking its experimental multiple sclerosis drug remained relapse-free after a year.

The news more than doubled the value of company shares.


The biotechnology company said the favorable data were seen in a mid-stage study of 150 patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. Patients with this type of MS -- typically the initial stage of the progressive neurological disease -- have unpredictable relapses followed by months to years of no new signs of disease activity.

The company said the annualized relapse rate among patients who took its Tovaxin drug fell to 20 percent, a 42 percent reduction compared with placebo.

Moreover, the company said 73 percent of Tovaxin-treated patients showed stabilization or improvement in MS disability, including 16.5 percent with a sustained improvement of at least one full point on a standard disability scale.

Opexa said it plans to recruit similar patients for another Phase IIb study of the drug, which is a vaccine tailored to individual patients. It helps limit attacks by immune system cells called T-cells on myelin, the protein sheath that protects nerves.

Shares of Opexa, which is based in The Woodlands, Texas, were up $2.22, or 145 percent, to $3.75 in heavy morning trading on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson, editing by Dave Zimmerman and Gerald E. McCormick for Reuters)

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