Cidara touts ‘positive’ PhII trial data for antifungal, shares yo-yo on the news

This time last year, Cidara $CDTX was reporting a flop in the clinic for its lead drug, an antifungal that failed to impress in Phase II trials. Now, after scrapping its old plan retooling a lead program, it’s got happier Phase II news.

The San Diego company reported Monday morning that its lead antifungal drug candidate, called Rezafungin, met all its primary objectives in a Phase II trial testing its IV program in patients with Candida infections.

Jeff Stein

“This is the first time that any antifungal has shown the potential to be a safe and effective once-weekly treatment option for patients with difficult-to-treat and deadly invasive Candida infections, which may enable patients to leave the hospital earlier, saving money and improving care,” said Cidara’s CEO Jeffrey Stein in a statement.

The new data show Cidara’s pivot last year could pay off. Investigators went looking for efficacy data on gel and ointment formulations of their investigational drug CD101 to treat acute vulvovaginal candidiasis, but instead found that it had lower cure rates than oral fluconazole, which is commonly used to treat fungal infections. There might have been a way forward with that program, but Stein opted to drop the topical effort and focus instead on its IV program for CD101 in candidemia.

The results set Cidara on track to launch Phase III trials in mid-2018.

Investors seem lukewarm to the news. Cidara’s stock price shot up on the announcement and then almost immediately went splat. As of press time, shares were selling at $7.00 per share, down from yesterday’s close of $7.90.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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