SVRA – Why Shares of Savara Soared This Week

What happened

Shares of Savara (SVRA 2.62%), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that specializes in rare respiratory diseases, were up 31.6% for the week as of Friday afternoon, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The stock closed last week at $2.09, then hit a 52-week high on Thursday at $2.82, and reached that point again on Friday. The stock is up more than 141% over the last year and has a 52-week low of $1.02.

So what

The company didn’t announce anything lately that would drive the stock forward, but its shares have been on a two-week rise. Its lead product candidate, molgramostim, is an inhaled granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) therapy in an IMPALA-2 phase 3 trial to treat  autoimmune pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (aPAP). The rare lung disease affects less than 5,000 people in the United States. The drug has been given Orphan Drug designation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), along with Breakthrough Therapy and Fast Track designations by the FDA. The drug fared well in its phase 2 trial.

Savara has said it expects results from the phase 3 trial mid-year in 2024. David Ramsay, a member of Savara’s Board of Directors since 2017, did buy 36,000 shares of the stock on Jan. 3, but the stock’s surge likely has more to do with molgramostim’s progress. The stock has closed higher every day since Jan. 10.

Now what

The company, as of the third quarter, said it had $134 million, enough to fund operations through 2025. A lot is riding on how molgramostim fares in the phase 3 trial, particularly since the company lost $10.4 million in Q3, just slightly less than the $10.5 million it lost in the same period a year ago. Plus, molgramostim is the company’s only therapy in trials. As a long-term play, there’s plenty of risk to Savara stock despite its rise.

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.