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Kodiak’s Attempt To Improve On Regeneron’s Blockbuster Just Backfired

Kodiak Sciences‘ (KOD) attempt to improve on Regeneron Pharmaceuticals‘ (REGN) blockbuster eye drug backfired on Wednesday — and investors pummeled KOD stock.




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Kodiak hoped to lengthen the amount of time between doses for patients with wet age-related macular degeneration, an eye disease. But patients who received Kodiak’s drug at least every 12 weeks didn’t show the same improvements as those given Regeneron’s Eylea strictly every eight weeks.

Eylea and its Kodiak competitor both block a protein called VEGF.

“While the agent (from Kodiak) isn’t dead, the remaining wet AMG trial targeting (dosing every four weeks) offers little benefit over Eylea,” Piper Sandler analyst Christopher Raymond said in a note to clients. “As this data event has served as a key overhang for Regeneron shares, we would expect the stock to react positively this morning with meaningful follow through.”

The news sent the biotech stocks in opposite directions. KOD stock crashed 80.5% to 9.84. Shares of Regeneron rose 1% to close at 608.98 on today’s stock market.

KOD Stock: Benefit Limited

Kodiak hoped to offer patients a flexible and less frequent dosing regimen for their eye disease with its drug called KSI-301. Patients first received three “loading” doses once a month. Then, patients moved to a flexible regimen and could receive doses every three, four or five months.

At one year, 59% of patients had improvements in vision and eye anatomy. That was on a dosing regimen of every five weeks. The gains brought them to the 20/40 vision required to drive a car. But less than one-third of patients needed more frequent dosing, said Dr. Carl Regillo, a study investigator.

“These patients’ visual acuity deteriorated, and consequently the KSI-30 treated patients overall did not achieve non-inferior visual acuity outcomes compared to the (Eylea) treated patients,” Regillo said in a written statement. He is the chief of retinal service at Willis Eye Hospital in Philadelphia.

Piper Sandler’s Raymond also noted Eylea-treated patients outperformed those who received KSI-301. That came even in the loading dose phase of the study. Eylea patients also receive three monthly loading doses before beginning an every two-months dosing regimen.

KOD stock opened at its lowest point since September 2019, according to MarketSmith.com. Kodiak emphasized it’s still testing KSI-301 in other diseases including retinal vein occlusion and diabetic macular degeneration.

Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.

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