OCUP Stock Price Increases Over 30%: Why It Happened

By Amit Chowdhry ● Jun 30, 2021
  • The stock price of Ocuphire Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: OCUP) increased by over 30% during intraday trading this morning. This is why it happened.

The stock price of Ocuphire Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: OCUP) increased by over 30% during intraday trading this morning. Investors are responding positively to Ocuphire Pharma – a clinical-stage ophthalmic biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing therapies for the treatment of several eye disorders – announcing that the VEGA-1 Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of Nyxol in combination with low-dose pilocarpine (LDP) in presbyopic subjects successfully met its primary and many secondary endpoints. 

And on the strength of these results, Ocuphire plans to move into Phase 3. Given the rapid onset and sustained duration of efficacy, the favorable safety profile, and the potential tunability of treatment, Nyxol + LDP has the potential for differentiation and to be a best in class product for the treatment of presbyopia.

Highlights from the VEGA-1 Phase 2 Trial in Presbyopia:

Nyxol + LDP Met the Primary Endpoint

— 61% of subjects treated with Nyxol + LDP improved 15 letters or greater (≥ 3 lines) in photopic binocular near vision at 1 hour compared with 28% of subjects on placebo with statistical significance (p = 0.003 with placebo adjusted difference of 33%)
Nyxol + LDP Met Many Additional Efficacy Endpoints

— Met the Phase 3 co-primary endpoint vs. placebo gaining 15 letters (3 lines) near vision with less than 5 letters of distance vision loss

— Rapid onset of efficacy at 30 mins

— Durable near vision improvement through at least 6 hours

— Sustained significant reduction in pupil diameter over at least 18 hours due to the durable effects of Nyxol

— Near vision efficacy seen both monocularly and binocularly

— Efficacy in both light and dark iris colors

Nyxol + LDP Showed a Favorable Safety Profile

— No serious AEs, almost all AEs were mild

— No headaches, no brow aches, and no blurry vision AEs were reported

— Mild, transient conjunctival hyperemia (eye redness) observed in <5% of subjects

Presbyopia is known as a gradual age-related loss of the eyes’ ability to focus on nearby objects. And the global prevalence is estimated to be 2 billion. About 120 million Americans live with presbyopia, a large prevalence that is expected to exceed 150 million by 2034. 

To assist with near vision deficiencies, individuals with presbyopia use reading glasses and contact lenses and in some cases surgical interventions. But there are currently no approved drug therapies for presbyopia in the United States. As there are several drawbacks to reading glasses and contact lenses, including inconvenience, eye strain, and night vision disturbances, eye drops are increasingly being explored as an alternative treatment modality.

“The results from this Phase 2 VEGA-1 trial validate Nyxol’s mechanism of action on iris dilator muscle and the beneficial effects of smaller pupil size in treating presbyopia. These latest data support a clinical profile for Nyxol plus LDP combination that includes rapid onset of action and sustained duration of effect, while maintaining distance visual acuity in day and night conditions. All treatments were well tolerated and demonstrated a favorable safety profile. Taken together, we believe these attributes position Nyxol + LDP as a potential ‘best in class’ presbyopia treatment option.”

— Jay S. Pepose, MD, PhD, Director of the Pepose Vision Institute, Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at the Washington University School of Medicine, and Ocuphire Medical Advisory Board and Corporate Board member

“The need for an eyedrop treatment is highlighted by industry leader Allergan and several other companies developing pharmacological treatment options for presbyopia. Ocuphire’s novel target product profile of a combination kit of Nyxol and LDP may offer rapid onset and long-lasting effects with ‘tunability’ as an option in that all patients are not the same (one size does not fit all). A combination kit option may provide a “range” of pupillary modulation that the doctor can customize to the patient to optimize their near vision. This ability to customize therapy will be more difficult for fixed-dose combinations and single-agent products.”

— Susan Benton of Ocuphire’s Board of Directors
“We are thrilled with the positive outcome in VEGA-1, which showed that a combination of Nyxol and low-dose pilocarpine produced a statistically significant improvement in near visual acuity in subjects with presbyopia. We would like to thank all of the subjects and investigational sites that participated in our first presbyopia clinical trial for Nyxol. Presbyopia represents an area of considerable unmet need due to its rising prevalence worldwide and the limitations of currently available corrective methods. Based on the data generated thus far, we believe that Nyxol and LDP is novel in its mechanism of action and could become a leading pharmacological treatment option for presbyopia and potentially allow those afflicted to reduce their dependence on reading glasses. We plan to initiate our Phase 3 trials for presbyopia in 2022, building on our recent success of Nyxol for Reversal of Mydriasis with initiation of the second Phase 3 registration trial later this year.”

— Mina Sooch, MBA, President and CEO of Ocuphire Pharma

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes. Before making any investment, you should do your own analysis.