Antisense Therapeutics (ASX:ANP) jumped over 20 per cent this morning on news its ATL1102 drug, fighting Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), delivered strong preliminary results in its clinical trial.

The stock is now up 270 per cent over the past 12 months.

DMD is a muscular genetic condition that occurs only in males and causes muscle weakness and atrophy. It usually emerges at between three and six years of age and, more often than not, kills before the age of 30.

Only a handful of anti-DMD drugs have shown indications of efficacy this early on and at the dose level. But ATL1102 did just that.

Antisense ran a 24 week clinical trial of ATL1102 on 9 patients with DMD, giving weekly injections of 25mg of ATL1102. The drug showed strong efficacy signals – specifically T cells expressing CD49d were significantly reduced. CD49d is a specific integrin which causes DMD sufferers to experience the disease more rapidly.

Additionally 7 out of 9 patients showed either increases or no change in their Performance of Upper Limb (PUL) Tests.

“We had high expectations for ATL1102 in DMD and this first study has certainly exceeded them with respect to its efficacy signal at the lower dose tested,” Antisense CEO Mark Diamond said.

Antisense now wants to do a larger Phase IIb clinical trial in Europe to test the effectiveness of the drug.

The company is already designing the trial and told shareholders positive results here would deliver regulatory approval in Europe.

Watch: 90 Seconds with…Mark Diamond, Antisense Therapeutics

In other ASX small cap health news today:

Neurotech International (ASX:NTI) jumped as high as 21 per cent this morning on news it had found a Taiwanese distributor for its child-focused neurotech – Mente. Mente is a portable headband which rebalances excessive activation of low and high frequency brainwaves in autistic children. This can cause problems, most prominently learning abilities and anxiety. Final approval from Taiwan Food & Drug Administration is expected early next year.

Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) told shareholders this morning the Phase 3 trial of its anti heart-failure drug was in the final stages. Results are expected in the middle of next year.

Noxopharm (ASX:NOX) has raised the minimum $7 million in its IPO spin out of Nyrada only two weeks after opening. While Noxopharm is developing an anti prostate cancer drug, Nyrada has an entirely different portfolio. This includes an oral drug to fight high blood cholesterol and a nerve compression treatment. Listing of Nyrada will occur sometime in January.