Shares in Rexahn Pharmaceuticals (RNN) jumped nearly 40 percent on Monday, continuing a bull-run that has the stock up over 150 percent since Thursday and over 265 percent in the last month on a promising potential cancer treatment and the initiation of relatively bullish coverage from Roth Capital Markets analysts.
RNN’s RX-3117 Could be Alternative for Eli Lilly’s Gemzar
Driving the current growth-spurt is the announcement of the initation of Phase 1b to study the safety and efficacy of RX-3117, Rexahn’s lead drug candidate, in cancer patients with solid tumors. The hype surrounding RX-3117 is considerable given that it has to potential to function as an oral to Eli Lilly’s (LLY) Gemzar.
"The initiation of this Phase I clinical trial of RX-3117 represents an important milestone for Rexahn," said CEO Peter D. Suzdak, Ph.D. "This compound is exciting to work with, as it has a unique profile with demonstrated activity against gemcitabine-resistant human cancer cells. We were pleased to see reduced side effect liability and oral bioavailability in cancer patients in our initial exploratory Phase I clinical trial conducted in Europe, and we believe that RX-3117 may represent a significant advancement in the treatment of cancer patients with solid tumors."
Gemzar is an injectable drug that results in resistance for 1 out of 4 patients, making an alternative that functions in pill form one with considerable commercial potential.
Analyst Seems Convinced
Also helping boost shares over the past few days was the news from Thursday that Roth Capital Markets’ Joe Pantiginis had initiated coverage on the stock at a “buy” rating with a price target of $3, still nearly double the current share price even after the spike in price.
Along with the considerable potential for RX-3117, the company boasts nearly $15 million in cash as well as over $5 million in new funding, giving it enough money to carry it for two years.