South Korea’s biotherapeutics company SillaJen’s stock price fluctuated after a local news outlet reported that the future of its drug candidate Pexa-Vec was murky.
Pexa-Vec, which is undergoing phase 3 clinical trials, is an oncolytic virus with demonstrated intravenous delivery to tumors, induction of cancer targeting antibodies and improved survival in a randomized trial.
According to a local report on March 12, an anonymous professor, who argues that he is participating in the process of the Korean company’s phase 3 clinical trials of drug candidate Pexa-Vec, said that the chances are slim for it to be a success. The professor added that, “Others who are also conducting the trials are doubtful about the effectiveness of Pexa-Vec.”
Hours after the report came out, SillaJen’s stock price declined. At around 1 p.m., prices plunged 13 percent from 78,900 won ($69.66) to 68,700 won. On March 13, SillaJen closed 7.45 percent lower at 68,300 won on March 13.
Meanwhile, the company contested the authenticity of the reports, saying that the US Food and Drug Administration does not allow any such data or information to be disclosed.
“If there is a problem during our clinical trials, the data monitoring committee will officially announce the suspension of the studies via the Clinicaltrial.gov website,” a SillaJen official said in a statement.
The company also urged the professor to reveal his identity and be accountable for what he said, while noting that it was impossible for him to look through all the data of 400 patients in 16 countries. SillJen also added that it is currently reviewing whether to sue the media company responsible for what it calls “false news” about Pexa-Vec.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)