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THE INVESTOR

Bio & Medicine

Versartis’ failed trials a boon for Genexine

  • PUBLISHED :September 22, 2017 - 16:08
  • UPDATED :September 22, 2017 - 16:08
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[THE INVESTOR] Genexine’s shares climbed nearly 5 percent on Sept. 22 following news that its rival US-based Versartis failed large clinical trials for a growth hormone deficiency treatment candidate.

Versartis said patients receiving its long-acting recombinant human growth hormone somavaratan failed to show non-inferiority, compared with patients on Pfizer’s drug Genotropin in a phase 3 trials. 




Shares of the Korean biopharma firm, which is also developing its long-acting human growth hormone GX-H9, rose 5 percent to hit 50,000 won (US$44) before retreating to close at 48,300 won.

“Genexine could emerge as a game-changer in the growth hormone market based on its superior clinical data and setbacks of other rivals like Versartis and OPKO,” said Ku Wan-sung, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities.

Last week, Genexine announced positive phase 2 trials of GX-H9, demonstrating annualized height velocities comparable to that of the active comparator.

The treatment is held as a possible best-in-class drug that would provide a once-weekly or twice-monthly alternative to current daily injection therapy.

While many companies are eyeing the growth hormone deficiency treatment market valued at 4 trillion won, Versartis has been leading the pack followed by Ascendis in terms of development.

“The value of the GX-H9 will be highlighted as Versartis and Genexin are the only companies in the process of developing twice-monthly formulations,” Daishin Securities analyst Hong Ka-hye said. 

By Park Han-na (hnpark@heraldcorp.com)
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