DMD Drug Data Capsizes WAVE Life Sciences Stock

The equity just hit a new 17-month low

Lillian Currens
Apr 16, 2019 at 10:22 AM
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The shares of WAVE Life Sciences Ltd (NASDAQ:WVE) are near the bottom of the Nasdaq today, after the biotech released data for its Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) treatment, suvodirsen. Safety and tolerability data for the Phase 1 study appeared worse than rival Sarepta Therapeutics' (SRPT) DMD drug, eteplirsen. As a result, WVE stock is down 28.9% at $24.19. 

WVE recovered from its late-January lows near $32.50, and rallied to its year-to-date high of $48.64 in mid-March. The shares had fallen back to the $33-$34 region heading into today's trading, but have now sliced through this region, and earlier tapped a 17-month low of $22.90. Plus, the equity is now down 42.5% so far this year. 

Today's dramatic price action could lead to a round of downgrades for WVE, too. Currently all five analysts give the stock a "strong buy" rating. Plus, the consensus 12-month target price of $60 more than doubles current levels. 

Short sellers are likely cheering today's plummet. Short interest spiked 13.9% in the last two reporting periods. The 3.39 million shares sold short represents roughly a quarter of the stock's available float, or three weeks of trading, at WVE's average daily volume. These bearish bettors are sidelined today, though, with the stock on the short-sale restricted list.


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