Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARNA)

Technical Analysis
Positive Trend
Support: Current Support: Exponential Moving Average (EMA)

Yahoo! Finance (2019). Stock price graph for Arena Pharmaceuticals 12/10/18 to 6/7/19. Retrieved fromhttps://finance.yahoo.com/quote/ARNA?p=ARNA

Arena Pharmaceuticals, is a company I see value in. From a technical analysis standpoint, the positive uptrend is an attractive characteristic. ARNA continues to be supported by the exponential moving average (EMA), and it is potentially at a “good buy” area if the EMA continues to be the support. I have not taken a position; however, this company is currently on my watch list. The company’s leading pipeline is etrasimod, in which its worldwide Phase 3 trial for the treatment of moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis is currently in the planning process.

Etrasimod
Etrasimod, an oral selective sphingosine 1 phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator, is seeking an initial indication for the treatment of moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis.

Efficacy Results
The phase II, OASIS study (NCT02447302) evaluated the efficacy of etrasimod in patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis (UC). Etrasimod demonstrated dose-dependent improvement in clinical response,clinical remission and endoscopic appearance and decreased circulating lymphocytes.  Most recent publication describes the histologic remission and mucosal healing results at week 12 of treatment with etrasimod.

Patients received a once daily dose of etrasimod 1mg (n=52) or 2mg (n=50), or placebo (n=54). There was no dose titration for the 2mg study arm. Currently, there are mainly two endoscopic score systems of mucosal inflammation in clinical practice. The sigmoidoscopic component of the Mayo Endoscopic Score (MES) and the Ulcerative Colitis Endoscopic Index of Severity (UCEIS) show the most promise as reliable evaluative instruments of endoscopic disease activity.2 A sigmoidoscopy with central readings using the MES was used to determine the endoscopic severity for this study. Biopsies were taken and histology results were scored by a blinded central pathologist using the Geboes index. The endpoints were endoscopic improvement (MES of 0 or 1); histologic improvement (Geboes score <3.1); and histologic remission (Geboes score <2.0). Mucosal healing was a post hoc analysis defined as both the endoscopic improvement and histologic remission.1

90% of the patients completed the study. When compared to placebo, Etrasimod 2mg resulted in a statistically significant  difference in achieving endoscopic improvement (43.2% E vs 16.3% P; P=0.003), histologic improvement (31.7% E vs 10.2% p; P=0.006), and histologic remission (19.5% E vs 6.1% p; P=0.027) at week 12. Mucosal healing was observed in 19.5% and 4.1% of patients treated with etrasimod 2mg and placebo (P=0.010). Though more patients receiving etrasimod 1mg achieved each endpoint compared to placebo, the results did not reach statistical significance.1

Reference:

  1. Peyrin-Brioulet L et al. Histologic remission and mucosal healing in a randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 2 study of etrasimod in patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis.
  2. Xie T et al. Ulcerative Colitis Endoscopic Index of Severity (UCEIS) versus Mayo Endoscopic Score (MES) in guiding the need for colectomy in patients with acute severe colitis. Gastroenterology Report, Volume 6, Issue 1, February 2018, Pages 38–44

Disclosure: I have no positions in the stock mentioned. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions and not of those of my employer. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with the company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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