Novo A/S Dumps OPHTHOTECH (NASDAQ: OPHT) after Disappointing Results

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Investment firm Novo A/S is a Denmark-based firm which invests and manages the assets of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The firm was founded in 1999, and manages over $1.126 billion, as of the end of September 2016. A latest Schedule 13D filing with the SEC revealed that Novo A/S sold all of its stake in OPHTHOTECH (NASDAQ: OPHT), selling about 3.61 million shares of the New York-based biopharmaceutical company.

OPHTHOTECH’s stock is getting battered after the company announced disappointing results from late-stage pivotal phase 3 trials for OPH1002 and OPH1003. The trials were to gauge the practicality of a combination of the company’s treatment, Fovista, and Novartis (NYSE:NVS)’s Lucentis for the treatment of wet macular degeneration, a chronic eye disease that causes blurred vision or a blind spot in visual field. The results showed that the combinational treatment resulted in patients showing 10.24 letters on a standardized eye chart at 12 months, which is only slightly better than the results which were achieved by Lucentis only. The study thus concluded that there are no statistically significant benefits of using Fovista with Lucentis. OPHTHOTECH (NASDAQ: OPHT)’s CEO Dr. David Guyer said that the company was “disappointed” with the results, but will continue to “analyze” the data to better understand the results.

OPHTHOTECH (NASDAQ:OPHT)’s stock has lost over 86% in value in just 5 days.

Last week, we talked about how famous investors like Steven Cohen were getting bullish on OPHTHOTECH (NASDAQ:OPHT) before the fateful study results. A number of investment firms had projected positive results from the study. Had the study been successful, Novartis could have signed a deal with OPHTHOTECH for as much as $1 billion. Novartis (NYSE:NVS)’s Lucentis is an approved drug which is sold in the US and around the world. However, OPHTHOTECH’s has another drug in the pipeline, Zimura, for the treatment of geographic atrophy. Zimura is in the early trial stages currently, and holding on to the stock just to wait for Zimura’s effects might be a long shot to take.


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