Arena Shares Sent Skyward by Encouraging Test Results

Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA) shares rose Tuesday as the company disclosed that its phase 2 OASIS trial for Ulcerative Colitis treatment met primary and all secondary endpoints. The company plans to initiate a phase 3 trial.

The company, based out of San Diego, reported that relative to placebo, there was a statistically significant 0.99-point improvement in a three-component (stool frequency, rectal bleeding and findings on endoscopy) Mayo Clinic Score (ranging from 0 to 9) with etrasimod 2 mg at week 12.

In the 1 mg group, there was a 0.43 point improvement in three-component Mayo Clinic Score at week 12 relative to placebo, which was not statistically significant (p = 0.146). Significantly more patients in the etrasimod 2 mg group achieved endoscopic improvement compared with placebo (41.8% vs. 17.8%, p = 0.003).

The proportion of patients achieving clinical remission, defined by the three-component Mayo Clinic Score, was 33.0% in the etrasimod 2 mg group compared to 8.1% for the placebo group (p < 0.001).

Arena Chief Medical Officer Preston Klassen said, "We believe these data support proceeding to a Phase 3 program in ulcerative colitis and continuing efforts to understand the broad potential utility of etrasimod in other immune and inflammatory diseases with significant unmet needs.

"Along with the positive Phase 2 results for ralinepag reported last year, this important milestone for the Company further amplifies our conviction in Arena's internally discovered and developed compounds and their potential to be best-in-class.”

Shares triumphed $9.48, or 30.7%, to $40.69