In a Dec. 15 research note, Mackie Research Capital Corp. analyst Andre Uddin reported that Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AGN:CSE; AGNPF:OTCQB; AGW:FSE) announced the interim results of the Phase 2b/3 trial of ifenprodil in patients hospitalized with moderate to severe COVID-19.
"The results showed two positive early trends in high-dose ifenprodil," indicated Uddin, noting that these findings come from the first 123 of 150 study participants. Even though Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine was approved and is being distributed, "complementary COVID-19 therapeutics (e.g.,) antivirals, anti-inflammatory, etc., are still necessary," he added.
In the Phase 2b portion of the study, fully enrolled and underway, the patients are being randomized into three cohorts. One is receiving standard of care. Another is receiving standard of care plus ifenprodil 60 milligrams a day. The third is receiving standard of care plus 120 milligrams per day. The treatment duration is two weeks.
Results show that on day 15, fewer patients needed mechanical ventilation, Uddin relayed. Additionally, the NEWS, or National Early Warning Score, used to monitor patients, was decreasing more quickly, which could translate to faster recovery for patients. As for the primary endpoint, changes in the World Health Organization's 7-point ordinal scale, it has not trended any way so far.
Uddin indicated that the full Phase 2b results, expected in Q1/21, should "provide better clarity." Algernon will use those data to design the Phase 3 study portion. For instance, the biopharma could use Phase 2 secondary endpoints with positive results at primary Phase 3 endpoints.
As for Algernon overall, Uddin wrote it "remains a high-risk, high-reward investment opportunity."
As such, Mackie Research has a Speculative Buy rating and an CA$0.80 per share target price on it. Today, Algernon's stock is trading at about CA$0.31 per share.
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Disclosures from Mackie Research Capital Corp., Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc., Update, December 15, 2020
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