Opko Health Inc. (NASDAQ:OPK) was down 18.5% by early afternoon trading on Friday as the company announced that its weekly injection to treat growth hormone deficiency failed to do so compared with a placebo in a late-stage trial, which propagated the OPK stock blowout.
The growth hormone, hGH-CTP, was unable to statistically change the amount of torso fat compared to a placebo. The test was meted out over 26 weeks and involved 203 study participants.
This does not mean the drug is dead, however. The company said it identified outliers, and these outliers may have impacted the primary outcome of the Phase 3 trial. Opko said that it is looking into a further review of the study population. Of course, any recovery here would be ideal for OPK stock. (Source: “OPKO Health Shares Slide as Injection Doesn’t Top Placebo in Trial,” The Wall Street Journal, December 30, 2016.)
Phase 3 is one of the key events in any experimental medicine’s lifespan, as it is often the final testing stage before the drug is submitted for review to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The year has been rather uneven for OPK stock, with Friday’s large fall putting the shares down about seven percent since the beginning of 2016. Before Friday’s rough go for OPK stock, the company had seen its fortunes rise from a trough in share price back in January and February of this year.
With OPK stock flagging going into 2017, the future of the growth hormone treatment will be key to putting the company back on the mend in the market next year. With efforts focused on putting things right with the medicine, the results will have a large impact on the future outlook of Opko Health Inc.