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Clearside Biomedical Soars; Roth Capital Calls Eye Drug 'Game Changer'

Clearside Biomedical rises as a Roth Capital analyst says the company's eye treatment test results are 'a game changer.'

Clearside Biomedical  (CLSD) - Get Report jumped on Tuesday after the biopharma reported progress in a clinical trial of CLS-AX, a drug for pretreated wet age-related macular degeneration.

The results prompted an analyst to call the treatment "a game changer."

Shares of the Alpharetta, Ga., company at last check were up 46% to $4.41.

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Clearside said the initial lowest planned dose of 0.03 mg CLS-AX was well tolerated with no serious adverse events and no drug-related treatment-emergent adverse events observed throughout the study. 

The company said the improvements after receiving an injection of CLS-AX for wet AMD were reflected in the BCVA score, or best corrected visual acuity, with five of six patients each gaining four or more letters.

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Roth Capital analyst Zegbeh Jallah reiterated a buy rating and a $9 price target on the company after Clearside unveiled the early safety and efficacy data.

CLS-AX was safe and well-tolerated with no inflammation, allowing for enrollment into Cohort 2, Jallah said in a research note, according to the Fly.

Even "more impressive" were the early efficacy data showing that a single dose of CLS-AX led to best corrected visual acuity improvements, beyond that achieved with "gold standard" Eylea, the analyst said. That makes the Clearside drug a "game changer," Jallah said.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals  (REGN) - Get Report, which makes Eylea, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Eylea is Regeneron's first approved drug in 2011 and remains the company's top seller.

In February, Regeneron said Eylea's fourth-quarter U.S. net sales increased 10% to $1.34 billion over the year-earlier total. In May, the company said first-quarter sales of Eylea increased 15% to $1.35 billion.

In April, Regeneron said its Regen-Cov antibody cocktail may work well at treating people who have been exposed to COVID-19 but are not showing symptoms. The company unveiled positive results for Regen-Cov in March.