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Here’s why the Opthea share price is up 130% today

The Opthea Ltd (ASX: OPT) share price has rocketed 130% to $2.02 this morning after it reported its OPT-302 combination therapy met the primary endpoint in a Phase 2b clinical trial. 

According to the announcement the: “OPT-302 + Lucentis (ranibizumab) combination therapy demonstrated statistically significant vision benefit compared to Lucentis in wet AMD patients at 24 weeks in a trial of 366 patients”. 

The treatment also apparently passed safety standards with secondary endpoint results also supportive of the primary outcome.

“OPT-302 has the potential to address the unmet medical need of wet AMD and DME patients, many of whom respond sub-optimally or become refractory to existing therapies for these debilitating diseases. We are advancing the clinical development of OPT-302 in Phase 2 wet AMD and DME clinical trial,” the biotech notes on its website. 

According to its latest regulatory 3B filing the company has 249.4 million shares on issue to give it a market value of $503.8 million today. 

The catch is that it posted a net loss of $18.9 million on revenue of just $480,000 for the six months to December 31,2019.

It had net cash on hand of $40.14 million as at December 31, 2019 which is reasonable for a local biotech, but it will face significant clinical trial expenses at the Phase III stage in the mission to try and get its OPT-302 + Lucentis (ranibizumab) combination therapy commercialised. 

As such it remains a highly speculative bet alongside the likes of osteoarthritis researcher Paradigm Limited (ASX: PAR).

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Motley Fool contributor Tom Richardson has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

You can find Tom on Twitter @tommyr345

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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