“This is a decisive moment for our company,” said Filippo Petti, the current director of Celyad Oncology, a Belgian biotech company founded in 2004 and located in the French-speaking commune of Mont-Saint-Guibert in the Walloon Region. This week in the United States, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has validated the upcoming launch of the company’s new clinical trials, which are going to conduct a study around a new approach to the treatment of cancer.
The startup—who is just one of several innovative biotech players driving advancement in the sector—notably specializes in the highly specialized and delicate case of patients whose existing drug treatment does not deliver the expected response when treating relapsing multiple myeloma. Celyad Oncology had applied to the US Drug Administration to validate a new phase of testing in which the biotech will test a new process that does not involve genome editing (corresponding to the localized modification of genomic sequences, which is a dangerous process).
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Already up by more than 11%
On Tuesday, July 14th, when the FDA announced that the biotech stock price listed on the Brussels Euronext and the Nasdaq had gained 11.7%, a sharp rise that gave it visibility until Thursday, when the share price climbed a further 2.45% to $11.4 (€9.6). For Boursorama analysts, the 3-month price target is $25.28, which demonstrates the company’s potential in cancer research.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates our ability to advance in parallel several ready-to-use allogeneic candidates based on different technologies not involving genome editing into clinical research”, said the company, adding that “for the CYAD-211 program, our team has enabled the project to progress from the proof of concept phase to an effective IND in a very short period of time, less than two years.”
A fast-growing sector
For several months now, Société Générale Bank has grouped 48 of the sector’s best-performing biotech companies under the “Next Biotech” index. In this year 2020, it is currently indicative of strong growth in the biotech market, which has taken advantage of the health crisis to have numerous growth levers at its disposal.
Despite the stock market crash in early March, a fund like Pictet Biotech has risen 16% since the beginning of the year and 37% since its dip in March. In recent days, US biotech Moderna Therapeutics has been in the spotlight, as its research into a vaccine against COVID-19 has taken another major step forward with the validation of a final test phase.
Last month, Lemon Press also gave a comprehensive report on a very similar situation in the health tech market, where those health-care startups that have taken advantage of the current climate to attract more investors. The first quarter of 2020 set a record for fundraising in the sector, with $8.2 billion in new money raised worldwide, a marked increase of 76 percent compared to the first quarter of last year.
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First published in Presse Citron, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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