ABUS Stock Price Increases Over 15% Pre-Market: Why It Happened

By Amit Chowdhry ● Jun 28, 2021
  • The stock price of Arbutus Biopharma Corp (NASDAQ: ABUS) increased by over 15% pre-market. This is why it happened.

The stock price of Arbutus Biopharma Corp (NASDAQ: ABUS) – a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company primarily focused on developing a cure for people with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, as well as therapies to treat coronaviruses (including COVID-19) – increased by over 15% pre-market.  Investors are responding positively to Arbutus Biopharma announcing the presentation of 5 abstracts at the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) International Liver CongressTM (ILC). 

The abstracts had included an oral late-breaker presentation (Presentation LBO-2764) by Professor Man-Fung Yuen, D.Sc., M.D., Ph.D., Deputy Head of Department, Chief of Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Master of Lap Chee, University of Hong Kong, and lead investigator of AB-729’s Phase 1a/1b clinical trial, titled, “Repeat dosing of the GalNAc-siRNA AB-729 in subjects with chronic hepatitis B results in robust and sustained HBsAg suppression.”

As presented by Professor Yuen, AB-729 is continuing to demonstrate robust mean HBsAg reduction across all doses and dosing intervals with a favorable safety and tolerability profile, followed by a sustained plateau phase.

Here is a table of the mean (range) change in HBsAg with repeat dosing of AB-729 from the company:

KEY QUOTES:

“These data continue to demonstrate that AB-729 delivers sustained and comparable HBsAg reduction across all doses and dose intervals. Importantly, AB-729 was generally safe and well tolerated. I believe these results support continued evaluation of AB-729 as a significant advancement in the future treatment of chronic HBV.”

— Professor Yuen

“The presented efficacy and safety data for AB-729, derived from up to one year of dosing, support our view that 60 mg every 8 weeks is an appropriate dose to move forward in our upcoming Phase 2a clinical trials.” 

“In addition, while only based on 3/5 evaluable subjects, long-term dosing with AB-729 demonstrated increased HBV-specific immune responses, providing support for combination therapy including immunomodulatory agents.”

— Gaston Picchio, PhD, Chief Development Officer at Arbutus