Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) share price surges on new results

The Mesoblast (ASX: MSB) share price is trading higher today as the company released a positive update on its drug trial results.

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The Mesoblast limited (ASX: MSB) share price surged this morning after the biotech company announced positive drug trial results.

Mesoblast shares stormed almost 9% higher in early trading before retreating through the morning. At the time of writing, the Mesoblast share price is up 2.54% at $2.62.

Drug trial success

In today’s release, the company detailed significant results for its phase 3 chronic lower back pain trials.

Mesoblast reported that a single injection of its drug rexlemestrocel-L may provide “safe, durable, and effective” therapy for patients with chronic inflammatory back pain due to degenerative disc disease. Furthermore, the results showed the treatment was long-lasting in combination with hyaluronic acid (HA) carrier, resulting in at least two years of pain reduction.

The 24-month trial also found that the drug has the most significant benefits when administered earlier in the disease process before the intervertebral disc has irreversible fibrosis.

Management comments

Commenting on the results, Mesoblast CEO Dr Silviu Itescu said:

The durable pain reduction for at least two years from a single administration indicates that rexlemestrocel-L has the potential to change the treatment paradigm for chronic low back pain due to inflammatory disc disease, a condition that affects as many as seven million patients across the United States and Europe, and to prevent or reduce opioid use and dependence.

Tackling chronic back pain

The company said chronic low back pain (CLBP) was a disabling condition affecting some 10-15% of the adult population. As such, Mesoblast estimates the addressable market for rexlemestrocel at approximately 30 million people in the United States and 40 million people across the European Union.

According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) study, back pain causes more disability than any other condition and inflicts substantial costs on healthcare systems worldwide. There are few treatments for patients suffering from CLBP, with most having to use opioids to manage their pain. Remarkably, despite 50% of opioid prescriptions being for CLBP, they have still not formally demonstrated efficacy in treating the disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 67,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in 2018, of which almost 47,000 (70%) were opioid-related.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has prioritised its focus on new therapeutics that target both pain reduction and opioid avoidance, a mould which fits Mesoblast’s rexlemestrocel-L treatment.

About the Mesoblast share price

The Mesoblast share price has been impacted by announcements, including its recent COVID-19 trial update and short-sellers targeting the company.

As such, Mesoblast shares have fallen 7.64% over the past 12 months, trailing behind the flat return of the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO).

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Motley Fool contributor Daniel Ewing has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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