Skip to content

Breaking News


WESTMINSTER — Arca Biopharma Inc. (Nasdaq: ABIO) became the latest darling among health-care stocks Thursday after saying one of its drug candidates is showing promise as a treatment for blood clotting seen in some COVID-19 patients.

In a statement, the Westminster pharmaceutical company said it will begin development to see if its drug candidate AB201 could be used to reduce blood clots and inflammatory responses induced by the immune system for certain patients of the disease. The drug is being developed as an anti-clotting agent for heart attack patients, but clotting has also manifested in other highly infectious diseases such as Ebola.

“The combination of anticoagulation, anti-inflammatory effects and antiviral activity have the potential to make AB201 a unique therapeutic to treat patients afflicted with COVID-19 while vaccine development is underway,” said Arca CEO Michael Bristow in a statement.

AB201 has already passed Phase II clinical testing showing general safety, the company said, which could give it a head start toward the market if approved by federal regulators. Arca said it plans to file a new drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the third quarter of this year and launch additional clinical tests in the second half of the year.

Arca’s stock price more than tripled in early trading Thursday on the news, from $3.86 per share to $19.72 at the close, an increase of 399.24%.

Investors have generally piled into any company that purports to have a vaccine or treatment in development for COVID-19, including Moderna Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNA), which set the markets on a run in mid-May after reporting positive results from a small-sample early-stage vaccine trial. The company’s stock was trading just below $20 per share in late February before surging in March and eventually peaking at $80 per share right after releasing those results.

© 2020 BizWest Media LLC