Why BELLUS Health Exploded 60% on Monday

BELLUS Health (TSX:BLU)(NASDAQ:BLU) shares soared after positive results from its recent trial for the treatment of chronic cough.

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BELLUS Health (TSX:BLU)(NASDAQ:BLU) shares soared 60% on Monday after the company announced positive results from its trial for the treatment of chronic cough.

What happened?

Shares Bellus exploded back towards pre-pandemic levels after the release of its trial results. The healthcare company focuses on the clinical stage of drug development, and has been working on a treatment for refractory chronic cough. Its SOOTHE trial saw “statistical significance” with a 34% reduction in 24-hour cough frequency compared to the placebo group.

“With no specific treatments approved for refractory chronic cough, patients and physicians struggle to manage this condition that significantly impacts the quality of life of those afflicted,” said Dr. Jaclyn Smith, principal investigator of the Phase 2b Bellus SOOTHE trial. “The SOOTHE trial topline results generated from this large, multicenter, controlled trial are truly exciting because the impressive efficacy and tolerability profile observed for BLU-5937 could significantly benefit refractory chronic cough patients.”

So what?

The next step is to meet with the FDA during the second quarter of 2022 to discuss a Phase 3 Bellus program. This should bring SOOTHE to patients as soon as possible — even next year.

Pharmaceutical companies have been a prime target for healthcare investors seeking opportunities outside of COVID-19. With Bellus, you get the opportunity of both. Chronic cough could be a long-lasting condition for some who contract the virus. This would then provide a solution.

Furthermore, investors have been waiting a long time to see Bellus stock rebound. Shares completely collapsed during the pandemic, with all investment going towards COVID-related projects. Shares then remained low, until just recently. Year to date, Bellus stock is up 185% and about the same amount since the pandemic market crash.

Now what?

It’s too early to tell whether investors have missed the boat for Bellus stock. However, there will likely be further jumps in the future. This comes from further trials released. Furthermore, the company will then need to sell the product and start bringing in revenue. That would certainly make share prices climb further.

Meanwhile, the share price remains around analyst predictions of about $11.50 as of writing. And we’re still waiting for analysts to weigh in on the announcement. But with nine million patients in Europe alone with chronic cough, this is certainly results analysts will want to comment on. This could lead to a target share price movement upwards yet again, and towards pre-pandemic highs.

Shares of Bellus trade at $11.50, representing a 21% potential upside towards pre-pandemic highs.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Amy Legate-Wolfe has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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