ArQule, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARQL) is running for the top in the market this morning, trading on premarket gains of over 100%. The gains come after the company announced positive data, exciting investors. Here’s what’s going on:
ARQL Stock Flies On Data
In a press release issued early this morning, ArQule announced results from a Phase 1 study. In the study, the company was assessing ARQ 531 as a potential option for patients with relapsed or refractory hematologic malignancies. The data was provided at the American Society of Hematology 2019 Annual Meeting & Exposition.
The data comes from a Phase 1 dose escalation study. Patients were provided doses of 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 45, 65, and 75 mg once daily as a potential option for relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia, small lymphocytic leukemia, Richter’s Transformation, Waldenström macroglobulinemia and other B-cell Non-Hodgkin lymphomas.
In the release, ARQL said that the 65 mg QD was selected as the Recommended Phase 2 Dose for further studies across all disease subsets. ARQ 531 showed a low incidence of associated toxicities and proved to be generally safe and well tolerated.
Moreover, an Overall Response Rate was achieved in 8 out of 9 evaluable patients. Overall Responses were seen in 7 out of 8 patients with heavily pretreated R/R CLL. Also 3 out of 6 patients in the Richter’s Transformation arm achieved an Overall Response.
In a statement, Dr. Brian Schwarts, CMO at ARQL, had the following to offer:
The final phase 1 data set confirms the potential utility of ARQ 531 for the treatment of these heavily pretreated CLL patients. We were excited to observe such deep and durable responses at a well-tolerated dose in this highly refractory population. In addition, the three responses we observed in Richter’s Transformation patients were a welcome outcome and allowed several patients to transition to potentially curative therapies.
It’s also worth mentioning that Merck and ArQULE announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, Merck will acquire ARQL.
Why Investors Are So Excited
First off, positive data is always exciting. However, when you couple positive data with acquisition news, the excitement only grows. Here’s how I see it:
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