Shares of Adeona Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AEN) jumped as high as $1.08 before closing up (+16.22%) at $.93 on Thursday after the a developer of innovative medicines for serious central nervous system announced positive findings based on further analyses from the clinical study evaluating reaZin-- its product candidate for the dietary management of zinc deficiency associated with Alzheimer's-- along with near-term plans for its Alzheimer's disease program.
We first told our readers about Adeona's diverse clinical program in mid December of 2010 when the stock was trading at $.71. The stock went on a nice run then hit a high of $2.13 before the company announced a relatively small financing in April (the second of two which took place in Q1 2011). One perplexing drop occurred despite the fact that Adeona had reported positive results from a clinical study that met both it's primary outcome-and reported favorable secondary outcomes.
Adeona Pharmaceuticals is developing innovative medicines for the treatment of serious Central Nervous System (CNS) diseases. Their primary strategy is to license product candidates that have demonstrated a certain level of clinical efficacy and develop them to a stage that results in a significant commercial collaboration – basically this means they develop their product candidates to attract large pharmaceutical partners with deep pockets.
We feel Adeona continues to be a low-risk, investment candidate given their robust pipeline that includes product candidates in spaces that represent some big markets and unmet needs: a prescription medical food for Alzheimer’s disease, and four drugs for multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, age-related macular degeneration and rheumatoid arthritis.
After reviewing the statistical analysis with the Company's scientific advisors, Adeona intends to conduct another Alzheimer's disease clinical study to evaluate its proprietary zinc-based tablet in patients age 70 and over. In parallel, Adeona intends to make reaZin commercially available as a prescription medical food for the dietary management of zinc deficiency associated with Alzheimer's disease.
"The biological availability of zinc is impaired in Alzheimer's disease as evidenced by significantly lower plasma zinc levels and deficiencies of neuronal zinc activities, each of which are further exacerbated with age. The recent clinical study of reaZin showed that the oral treatment is well-tolerated, and there are even trends to benefits in cognitive outcomes over the study period in several readouts. Based on the consistencies in these trends, the prevalence of abnormally low plasma zinc levels in the elderly, and the established detrimental effects of chronic zinc deficiency on cognition, I think it is very reasonable to test for the ability of reaZin to ameliorate cognitive decline in a larger-scale clinical trial," said Ashley I. Bush, M.D., Ph.D., Head of the Oxidation Disorders Laboratory for the Mental Health Research Institute, University of Melbourne and Adeona Scientific Advisory Board member.
"It is well documented that zinc deficiency increases as we age, and we as well as other clinical groups have shown that Alzheimer's patients are more zinc deficient in comparison to age-matched control patients. These observations support our belief that the older an Alzheimer's patient is, the more zinc depleted that patient is, and therefore, it is likely that patient will receive greater cognitive benefit when managed with our proprietary zinc-based tablet," said George J. Brewer, M.D., Senior Vice President of Adeona. "As we are currently witnessing an epidemic of Alzheimer's disease, such that well over 10 million Americans are affected, we are very excited to begin a larger clinical study intended to further demonstrate that reaZin is effective in preventing or slowing the loss of cognition in older Alzheimer's patients and therefore help stem the tide of this epidemic."
Our opinion is that Adeona continues to have great potential and some of those programs look quite likely move into a commercial deal similar to the $17.5 million deal they locked up earlier with Swedish drug maker Meda. Once again it appears that their depressed stock price hassn’t reflected the progress they are making in the clinic and at their laboratory. Still, it's not going to happen overnight. Traders looking for a quick trade need not apply.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.