Why Shares of Argenx Jumped This Week

What happened

Shares of Argenx SE (ARGX 2.75%) were up more than 44% for the week as of 12:15 p.m. ET on Friday, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The biotech company’s stock closed last week at $379.08, then rose to as high as $548.94 on Friday afternoon by 12:15 p.m. ET. The stock is up more than 53% this year.

So what

Argenx said its therapy Vyvgart Hytrulo fared well as a treatment for adults with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), a type of autoimmune disorder wherein the body attacks myelin sheaths, which are fatty coverings that insulate and protect the nerves.

The late-stage study looked at adults who were not on active therapy for CIDP. Argenx said the study met its primary endpoint, showing a 61% lower risk of relapse compared to a placebo.

Now what

The brisk rise in the stock’s price made it harder to get in on a good price point for a promising stock. Vyvgart and Vyvgart Hytrulo are the company’s only commercial products, though Argenx has 15 programs in its pipeline. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved Vyvgart in 2021 to treat generalized myasthenia gravis (GMG), an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder. Vyvgart Hytrulo was approved by the FDA to treat GMG in June. The therapies are also being tested in other autoimmune indications. The chance to branch out is important because both GMG and CIDP are relatively rare.

The company reported $218 million of Vygart sales in the first quarter, with the company’s total revenue in the quarter at $229.8 million, up 630% year over year. The remaining sales come from the company’s license agreement with Zai Lab for the development and commercialization of Vyvgart and Vyvgart Hytrulo in China.

While the company still lost money in the first quarter — $0.52 in earnings per share (EPS) loss compared to $4.36 in EPS loss in the same period last year — the growth of Vyvgart’s indications is pointing the company toward profitability.

Jim Halley has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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