“This is a decisive moment for our company,” said Filippo Petti, the 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. Last week in the United States, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) validated the launch of a new clinical trial of the company, to conduct a study around a new approach in the treatment of cancer.
The startup Celyad Oncology is one of those biotech players to innovate in the sector, specializing in particular in a very special and delicate case for patients whose treatment does not respond: relapsing multiple myeloma. Celyad Oncology was asking 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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Celyad Oncology’s title was up 11% after the FDA announced its approval
On Tuesday, July 14th, when the FDA announced the approval, 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, July 16th, when the share price climbed a further 2.45% to $11 (€9.6). For Boursorama analysts, the 3-month price target is $24.5 (€21.36), 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.”
The biotech sector is 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 2020, it is 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 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, Presse Citron gave a comprehensive report on the similar situation in the healthtech market, those health-care startups that have taken advantage of 2020 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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