Kodiak's eye drug falls short of Eylea in trial, shares sink – Reuters

Feb 23 (Reuters) – Kodiak Sciences Inc's (KOD.O) eye drug failed to match Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' (REGN.O) Eylea in improving the vision of patients in a study, sending its shares tumbling nearly 80% on Wednesday.
The mid-to-late-stage trial was testing the lead experimental eye drug in 559 patients with wet macular degeneration, a chronic eye disorder that causes blurred vision or blind spots.
While the results from the study showed the drug was safe, overall it did not improve vision as effectively as Eylea, prompting Kodiak's management to blame undertreatment for the drug's failure as the trial protocol did not allow more frequent dosing.
The company is now awaiting data from another ongoing trial early next year, said Chief Executive Victor Perlroth on a call with analysts. That study uses monthly dosing of the drug, instead of the three-to-five month interval used in the current trial.
Analysts, however, are skeptical about the new study, citing safety concerns around the drug's frequent dosing, compared with once every two months for Eylea.
The monthly study will be critical for inflammation and safety, as 3.2% of patients on Kodiak's drug had inflammation despite not being dosed frequently, compared with none for Eylea, Jefferies analyst Michael Yee wrote in a note.
For Regeneron, failure of Kodiak's drug, KSI-301, removes a key overhang on the stock as Eylea is its top-selling treatment, generating nearly $6 billion in sales last year. Shares of Kodiak hit a 2-1/2 year low of $10.17 in morning trade, while those of Regeneron rose nearly 1%.
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