- Avanir Pharmaceuticals announced positive phase II results for AVP-923, which is being tested for treatment of agitation in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
- There are currently no treatments for agitation in AD patients .
- Based on this news, shares of AVNR jumped 64% and opened at $11.56 on Tuesday morning, an 8-year high.
The excitement surrounding AVP-923 is palpable. This drug would represent a major step forward for AD patients and their caregivers alike.
Avanir easily broke out of its 52-week trading range ($2.62 to $6.98) on this news, driven by the tremendous unmet need for new treatments for the growing population of people with AD. Currently, 35.6 million people worldwide have AD, including 5.2 million Americans -- a figure that is rapidly increasing. In the recently completed phase II trial, AVP-923 not only significantly reduced agitation, but also performed well with respect to safety parameters.
An anti-agitation drug would be particularly well-received by home health aides who care for Alzheimer's patients. Although aggression, anger, and violent tendencies typically do not present until the later stages of the disease, health workers regularly have to be prepared for such incidents and are prohibited in many states from seeking damages against a patient who harm them.