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Sienna Flunks Acne Trial, But Multiple Catalysts Could Entice A Turnaround


  • Sienna Biopharmaceuticals failed two phase 3 studies using SNA-001 in treating patients with acne vulgaris.
  • SNA-001 is also being explored in another late-stage study for the reduction of unwanted light-pigmented hair with results expected by Q4 2018.
  • SNA-120 is being tested in a phase 2 study for pruritus and psoriasis, with results expected by Q1 2019.
  • A phase 1 study with SNA-125 is being used to treat patients with atopic dermatitis and pruritus, with results to be released in Q4 2018.
  • Members of my private investing community, Biotech Analysis Central, can follow this idea, as well as my other top picks with access to my model portfolio. Start your free trial today >>

Recently, Sienna Biopharmaceuticals (SNNA) announced that it had failed two late-stage studies using its clinical product SNA-001 to treat acne vulgaris. There is a small chance that the company will move on with the acne program, but it is also testing the drug for another indication with results expected by Q4 2018. In addition, It has other programs with results that are due to be readout in the coming quarters using different clinical products. For that reason, I believe that Sienna Biopharmaceuticals is a buy.

Phase 3 Data

The two late-stage studies used SNA-001 to treat these patients with acne vulgaris. However, each study incorporated SNA-001 with a laser treatment. For the first study, it was shown that neither the primary nor the secondary endpoints were met. It was testing SNA-001 + Laser treatment (810 nm laser) against vehicle + Laser treatment. They each achieved a 37.4% and 36.5% reduction respectively. Even though SNA-001 was slightly better over vehicle, it still did not achieve statistical significance because the p-value was p = 0.663. The second study did not achieve the primary endpoint either. That was SNA+001 + Laser (1064 nm laser) attained a 38.7% reduction from baseline, while the vehicle + laser obtained a 41.9% reduction. That gave another p-value that was not statistically significant (p = 0.411). There is another third independent study being done as well for this indication, but there is a small chance that it will work out for that study. The final independent study is using 755 nm laser + SNA-001, and data from that is due out by Q4 2018. It was a good try for Sienna to develop a new drug for acne vulgaris. As it is stated in its press release, the biggest problem with running acne trials is the variability that occurs. In this case, it had a huge negative impact on the results. The biotech even attempted to counter the high variability issue with its acne trials by using a powerful split-face design to avoid it. Unfortunately, not even taking that counter measure was enough to avoid

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This article was written by

Terry Chrisomalis profile picture
Actionable ideas on small-large cap biotech stocks through deep analysis.

I am the Founder of Biotech Analysis Central, A subscription service on Seeking Alpha's Marketplace. If you want to learn more about biotech investing or you want to check out my biotech analysis you can do so with a free 2-week trial to my service. Just hit the "Learn More" button on the bottom of the Marketplace Research Tab. I have a Bachelors of Applied Science Degree In Technology Management, Industrial and Business Services Management from St. Petersburg College Florida. I have been investing in biotech stocks for many years, and I prefer to invest as a long term investor. With that In mind I seek stocks that have long term value! I primarily Like to Invest In biotechnology stocks and I accept the risks. I Write for the Healthcare Sector and Stock market in general. I contribute to Seeking Alpha.

You can follow me on stocktwits.com under the name BiopharmaPro where I currently have (62.5K) followers. Join me in my quest to find the best biotechnology stocks that deliver results to help patients with new treatment options.

Analyst’s Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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