Why Starpharma (ASX:SPL) soared over 40%, but Firebrick crashed over 70%

Nick Sundich Nick Sundich, September 14, 2023

It was a good morning to be a Starpharma (ASX:SPL) shareholder, but a bad morning to be a Firebrick Pharma (ASX:FRE) shareholder. All because of clinical trial data.


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Good data from Starpharma

Starpharma announced interim results from a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of its anti-cancer drug DEP irinotecan (a nanoparticule formulation of irinotecan, which is one of the world’s most used cancer drugs) and that it would be presented at an upcoming conference next month in the US.

The company reported the data showed durable signs of efficiency against colorectal cancer, but also ovarian cancer. Although the data has only been on 20 patients to date, all of them are showing positive results with no gastrointestinal events or cholinergic toxicity. And keep in mind all of these patients had previously exhausted all available treatment options.


But bad data from Firebrick Pharma

Firebrick Pharma on the other hand, released Phase 3 trial of its Nasodine nasal spray as a treatment for the common cold.

The company told shareholders that the trial did not meet its primary endpoint – in other words it did not work (at least not as well as the placebo, which was sterile water, something that does not even have antiviral properties).

CEO Dr Peter Molloy didn’t hide his shock, telling shareholders ‘they are scientifically confounding and completely at odds with everything we know about povidone-iodine and the results of the first Phase 3 trial’.

The company told shareholders it would investigate the results to see if there was any systemic error that caused these results and that it continued to believe in Nasodine. Investors don’t appear to be keeping the faith, however, judging by the share price crash of near-80% by Wednesday afternoon!


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