Neurotrope Bioscience (NASDAQ: NTRP) shares fell over 60%, after the company announced data from its Phase II study of Bryostatin-1 for the treatment of moderate to severe alzheimer’s disease. Now, the company tried to spin the press release, but traders were able to quickly figure this out. The takeaway from this catalyst is to do your homework and read between the lines.
Take a look at NTRP’s plunge on the hourly chart:
Let’s take a look at what the company stated, and then figure out what happened.
NTRP Phase II Data
The headline read, “NEUROTROPE Announces Positive Top-Line Results From Phase 2 Study of Bryostatin-1 for Moderate to Severe Alzheimer’s Disease.” If you traded off this headline, you would’ve gotten hurt, badly.
The company stated that it had positive top-line results from the Phase II trial of Bryostatin-1 in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease, as stated earlier. The company noted that Bryostatin-1 showed, in non-clinical efficacy studies to spark the growth of mature synapses in the brain and prevent neuronal death.
In its press release, the company noted:
“Top-line results indicate that the 20 µg dose, administered every two weeks, met the pre-specified primary endpoint in the Completer population, but not in the mITT population. Among the patients who completed the protocol (n = 113), the patients on the 20 µg dose at 13 weeks showed a mean increase on the SIB of 1.5 vs. a decrease in the placebo group of -1.1 (improvement of 2.6) (p < 0.07) (n = 80), whereas, in the mITT population, the 20 mcg group had a mean increase on the SIB of 1.2 vs. a decrease in the placebo group of -0.8 (improvement of 2.0) (p < 0.134) (n = 90).”
Now, the company’s p-values were not statistically significant, at first glance of those results.
Dr. Susanne Wilke, Neurotrope’s Chief Executive Officer, stated “The results of this relatively small randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study of Bryostatin-1 shows that Bryostatin-1 has the potential to positively impact the lives of these severely debilitated patients with moderate to severe AD, a population that is in dire need of new therapies, especially drugs with a new mechanism of action…We are excited to take the next steps in advancing the development of Bryostatin-1 to treat this serious disease that every year becomes a larger and larger public health burden in the U.S. and around the world. Additional development, with a path to Phase 3, is clearly warranted.”
Neurotrope Fudges with Results
Additionally, the company excluded patients and the highest dose of Bryostatin-1, according to The Street’s Adam Feuerstein, who covers biotech stocks. It’s farfetched that the company attempted to hide the results of the study. Neurotrope had enrolled 147 patients in the clinical trial, but it only chose to highlight results from a portion of those patients. Now, the company also noted that it had shown that it could potentially induce growth of synapses in non-clinical efficacy studies. However, that just means that it was not tested on actual patients with Alzheimer’s. Traders figured this out quickly.
Now, when a company releases clinical trial, you should always read between the lines, and not just take the headline at face value. Neurotrope is a prime case of this. The company had a headline indicating that it had positive results, but if you actually read into the press release, you would’ve released they tried to spin their results.
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