Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares jumped the most ever after the company’s experimental drug Rhopressa eased glaucoma-associated eye pressure in a final-stage trial.
The shares gained 67 percent to $30.08 at the close in New York, the biggest one-day increase since the pharmaceutical company went public in October 2013.
The trial showed that Rhopressa is at least as effective as a generic treatment, timolol, in reducing eye pressure in patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Based on data from a 90-day period, the drug was as good or better than twice-a-day timolol, whether Rhopressa was taken once or twice a day. Aerie expects to file for U.S. regulatory approval for the drug by the middle of next year.
People with elevated eye pressure are at risk for glaucoma, a disease that afflicts more than 4 million Americans and is a leading cause of blindness. Symptoms can include limited vision, eye aching and severe headaches.
Rhopressa targets the fluid-draining portion of the eye and the diseased tissue that heightens pressure. The drug increased eye redness in about one-third of patients, mostly mildly. The effect was more frequent in those who took Rhopressa twice a day.
Analysts project that the drug will generate sales of as much as $268 million by 2023, according to the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Rhopressa is one of two drugs Aerie has in clinical trials. The company doesn’t yet have any products producing revenue.
Aerie will host a conference call on the results Thursday at 5 p.m. New York time.