Structure Therapeutics Inc. jumped to a record high Friday after new data on its oral weight-loss drug fueled expectations that the San Francisco-based company is closing the gap with larger competitors such as Pfizer Inc.
(Bloomberg) — Structure Therapeutics Inc. jumped to a record high Friday after new data on its oral weight-loss drug fueled expectations that the San Francisco-based company is closing the gap with larger competitors such as Pfizer Inc.
Results from an early-stage trial of Structure’s small molecule GLP-1 drug, dubbed GSBR-1290, were “firmly positive,” BMO Capital Markets analyst Evan David Seigerman said in a note. After four weeks, patients with obesity lost about 4.9% of their weight and none of them had to discontinue taking the drug because of side effects.
The company’s shares jumped as much as 75% in New York trading Friday, before paring some of the gain, with the stock up 42% at 10:06 a.m. The results were “better-than-expected” and alleviated investor concerns about the drug’s half-life, Leerink Partners analyst David Risinger said in a note, calling the data “exceptional.”
The lack of side effects and discontinuations are early signs that GSBR-1290 could be a best-in-class oral GLP-1, Seigerman said. Structure’s pill is taken once a day, which is preferred over the twice-daily dosing required with a similar pill that Pfizer is testing. The results put GSBR-1290 “staunchly ahead” of Pfizer’s drug, Seigerman added.
While still too early to declare superiority over another oral drug that Eli Lilly & Co. is developing, Seigerman said that GSBR-1290 is “highly competitive.”
Structure is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing oral small molecule drugs for different conditions. It aims to make GLP-1 therapies more accessible by offering them in pill form, CEO Raymond Stevens said on a conference call Friday. Structure plans to release topline data from another longer trial in the first half of 2024. The company is also testing GSBR-1290 to help treat diabetes.
Beyond GSBR-1290, the company is developing other GLP-1 drugs “designed with customized properties to achieve additional benefits,” according to a statement.
Companies are eager for a slice of the multibillion dollar market for obesity treatments after blockbuster successes from Novo Nordisk A/S and Lilly. Dozens of drugs are in various stages of development, including next-generation candidates from front-runners Novo and Lilly.
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