The financial bottom line has fallen at Opthea, the latest biotech to see its shares skyrocket on the back of successful trial results.

But investors don’t seem too perturbed. Opthea (ASX:OPT) shares closed at $2.26 on Thursday, and have fluctuated between a low of $2.11 and a new high of $2.31 in early Friday trade.

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Revenue is down 20 per cent year-on-year to $914,840 while the full-year loss ballooned 24 per cent to $20.9 million.

That initially sent shares crashing 7 per cent, but they have since recovered as investors maintain their sunny outlook following news on Wednesday its OPT-302 drug had worked in a Phase II clinical trial in patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Opthea received less bank interest in the 2019 financial year, leading to the revenue hit, while increased research and development expenses were largely to blame for the widening loss.

CEO Megan Baldwin yesterday told a broker gathering the trial results were “just the start”.

“We have a drug we’ve demonstrated in a highly powered trial that’s showing a clinically meaningful benefit over and above standard treatment,” she said.

“This is the only drug that has achieved this endpoint to this level of significance.”

The company is now awaiting further data on the study which will be more comprehensive than the initial set. Opthea will also test its drug in relation to DME (Diabetic macular edema). Baldwin noted it would be a competitive advantage if OPT-302 could treat multiple diseases.

Opthea is keen to commercialise the drug in its own right but noted if approached, and “it’s in the interests of shareholders, we would entertain it”.


In other ASX health news today…

Suda Pharmaceuticals (ASX:SUD) lodges appeal over malaria spray. Back in April, Suda was denied Australian marketing approval for ArTiMist, its anti-malaria mouth spray. It told investors today it had lodged an appeal with the Therapeutic Goods Administration based on “discussions with our advisors and experts in the field of malaria”.