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Cassava Stock Sinks on Quanterix Denial Over Alzheimer's Drug Test

Cassava Sciences falls after Quanterix says it didn't interpret the test results of the drugmaker's Alzheimer's disease treatment.

Cassava Sciences  (SAVA) - Get Cassava Sciences, Inc. Report tumbled Friday after Quanterix  (QTRX) - Get Quanterix Corporation Report said it didn't interpret the test results of the drugmaker's Alzheimer's disease treatment, which recently came under fire over the integrity of the testing process.

Shares of the Austin, Texas-based Cassava Sciences were tumbling nearly 11% to $63.42.

Billerica, Mass.-based Quanterix was climbing 7.5% to $49.42.

The controversy began earlier this week when Jordan Thomas, a partner and chair of the whistleblower representation practice at Labaton Sucharow, filed a Citizen's Petition with the Food and Drug Administration asking federal regulators to halt clinical trials of simufilam.

The Citizen Petition was posted on a U.S. government website and criticized the integrity of the laboratory testing of the drug on several points.

Thomas, a former Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement lawyer who helped set up the agency’s whistleblower program, cited "a long-standing pattern of seemingly intentional data manipulation and misrepresentation in scientific papers and corporate disclosures."

The firm said it had filed the petition "on behalf of our clients who collectively have expertise in neuroscience, drug discovery, biochemistry, and finance" who "also hold short positions in Cassava stock." 

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Cassava Sciences issued a statement calling the allegations "false and misleading" and that it "stands behind its science, its scientists and its scientific collaborators."

The Cassava Sciences response said the company's "plasma p-tau data from Alzheimer’s patients was generated by Quanterix, an independent company, and presented at the recent Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.

Quanterix said in a statement that Cassava previously engaged Quanterix’s Accelerator laboratory to perform sample testing based on blinded samples provided by Cassava.

"Quanterix or its employees did not interpret the test results or prepare the data charts presented by Cassava at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in July 2021 or otherwise," the statement continued.

Cassava Sciences said Quanterix conducted sample testing, then sent the raw data to the company for analysis of treatment effects. 

The data was later presented at the conference. Cassava Sciences said it had received permission from Quanterix to include its lab personnel in the author list.

"Cassava Sciences is aware of allegations that are being made by a party that yesterday admitted it holds a short position in the company’s stock," the company said Friday.