(Reuters) - Aldeyra Therapeutics Inc said its eye drug was more effective than a placebo in treating itching and tearing associated with allergic conjunctivitis in a mid-stage study.
The company’s shares surged 56 percent — their record intraday percentage gain — to $5.82 on Monday, before giving up some of the gains to trade at $5.06.
Aldeyra said the experimental drug, NS2, works by trapping small molecules called aldehydes, which are considered to be one of the reasons for inflammatory conditions including allergic conjunctivitis.
This is the first clinical outcome that suggests aldehyde trapping works in the anti-inflammatory space, Laidlaw & Co analyst Yale Jen told Reuters.
Allergic conjunctivitis is a common eye disease characterized by an inflammation of the membrane that covers the eye. The condition results in excessive tear production, ocular itching, swelling and redness.
The 100-patient study was testing those who had at least a two-year history of allergic conjunctivitis triggered by grass, tree or ragweed pollen, the company said.
Data from the mid-stage study showed that both single and multiple doses were statistically significant.
Aldeyra, which is also testing the eye drug in noninfectious anterior uveitis, said it would await data from that mid-stage study to decide on which indication to be pursued in terms of clinical trials.
The Lexington, Massachusetts-based company is also evaluating the drug in Sjogren-Larsson Syndrome, a rare genetic condition characterized by dry, scaly skin, as well as eye and neurological problems.
Data from the two mid-stage studies are expected in the second quarter, the company said.
The company’s shares were up 36 percent at $5.06 in mid-day trading on the Nasdaq. More than 322,000 shares traded, nearly 30 times their 30-day average.
Reporting by Rosmi Shaji in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Sriraj Kalluvila