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Immunovant Doubles — And Slugs Argenx — As Autoimmune Battle Heats Up


Immunovant (IVMT) said Tuesday its drug lowered a key antibody in healthy people, signaling it could treat a myriad autoimmune conditions, and IMVT stock launched to a two-year high.


The company tested its drug, known as IMVT-1402, in healthy adults. The experimental under-the-skin shot led to dose-dependent reductions in immunoglobulin G, or IgG. This antibody is one of the culprits behind numerous autoimmune conditions.

Importantly, Immunovant said lowering immunoglobulin G levels didn’t lead to an increase in “bad” LDL cholesterol or serum albumin. Albumin is a protein made by the liver that can show up in plasma. Heightened albumin can mean a patient is dehydrated or experiencing diarrhea. An earlier drug from Immunovant, called batoclimab, led to increased levels of both.

“These data appear to meet/exceed expectations, delivering competitive IgG reductions with no apparent impact on serum albumin or LDL cholesterol at the initial 300-milligram dosing level,” Leerink Partners analyst Thomas Smith said in a report.

In midday trading on today’s stock market, IMVT stock catapulted 99.9% near 40.50. Meanwhile, shares of Argenx (ARGX), which makes a rival drug called Vyvgart, slipped 4.6% near 485.60.

IMVT Stock: Taking On Argenx

Immunovant says the results could position IMVT-1402 to become the best in its class of autoimmune disease drugs.

The company tested several doses of the next-generation immunoglobulin G-lowering medicine. Four weekly doses of 300-milligram IMVT-1402 led to a 63% reduction in IgG. That’s in line with a 340-milligram dose of batoclimab. But batoclimab led to higher LDL cholesterol and albumin.

That also puts IMVT-1402 in line with Argenx’s Vyvgart, a treatment for generalized myasthenia gravis. Generalized myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune condition that affects the skeletal muscles. Vyvgart has also shown promise in patients with another autoimmune condition called chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, or CIDP.

But William Blair analysts Myles Minter and Matt Phipps say Argenx’s Vyvgart has enough of a lead to stave off competitors like IMVT-1402.

“We believe Argenx’s significant lead in development across many rare disease (uses) will create a high barrier to gaining market share for a comparable product,” they said in a report.

Instead, they expect Immunovant’s drug to have more implications for self-administered injections that treat rheumatoid arthritis. They pointed to Johnson & Johnson’s experimental drug, nipocalimab. Minter and Phipps kept their outperform rating on Argenx stock.

Shares Briefly Double

Leerink’s Smith expected Immunovant stock to double on the news. At one point, shares soared more than 103% to a high at 41.17.

IMVT stock touched its highest point since February 2021.

Immunovant stock has a nearly perfect Relative Strength Rating of 98 out of a best-possible 99. This puts IMVT stock in the leading 2% of all stocks when it comes to 12-month performance, according to IBD Digital.

Follow Allison Gatlin on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, at @IBD_AGatlin.


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