Equillium, Inc. (NASDAQ:EQ), a biotech with a focus on immuno-inflammatory disorders, added ~22% in the morning hours on Tuesday, as the Street reacted to the company’s preliminary results from the Type B portion of the EQUALIZE study, which evaluated its lead active itolizumab in lupus nephritis (LN).
The ongoing second part of the phase 1b study is designed to test subcutaneous delivery of 1.6 mg/kg itolizumab every other week over 24 weeks in up to 20 patients.
Results highlights show that 3 of 6 (50%) subjects achieved complete response (CR) at week 28, while 2 of 6 (33%) subjects achieved partial response (PR), including 4 of 6 (67% ) of those who indicated more than 80% decrease in urine protein creatinine ratio (UPCR).
In subjects who received more than one dose, the mean UPCR decrease was 60%, with 8 of 12 (67%) showing a greater than 50% reduction in UPCR. The data were based on patients with high proteinuria.
The drug was generally found to be safe and well tolerated with no drug-related serious side effects. Additional data from the study is expected in mid-2023.
Commenting on the news, HC Wainwright reiterated the Outperform rating on EQ and raised his price target to $20 from $15 per share. stock.
Analyst Raghuram Selvaraju claims that if the full data set from the trial can reflect the drug’s potential seen so far in LN, the company can begin planning a pivotal trial, which could begin enrollment by the end of 2023.
Early this year, EQ announced the start of a phase 3 study for Itolizumab in acute graft-versus-host disease.