UPDATE: Bio-Path stock gains another 130% on Thursday
A tiny biotech company called Bio-Path Holdings Inc. became the most heavily traded stock on the Nasdaq on Wednesday afternoon, with shares shooting up 185% after the company announced an update to its Phase 2 trial data on prexigebersen, a potential therapy for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The trial enrolled 17 patients and looked at the safety and efficacy of prexigebersen combined with low-dose cytarabine compared with just low-dose cytarabine alone. Low-dose cytarabine is currently standard of care for patients who can't or do not want to be treated with more intensive chemotherapy.The company said the latest results showed that the rate of patients achieving complete remission (including those with incomplete platelet recovery and those with incomplete hematologic recovery) was 29%. The rate of complete remission for low-dose cytarabine alone is 7-13%, the company said.Bio-Path had already released positive trial results last year, and Wednesday's results were an update to that trial data. The company also noted that 68% of the patients were secondary acute myeloid leukemia patients, a particularly difficult class to treat, something not disclosed previously.Bio-Path said it saw an opportunity for its drug BP1002 based on the recent FDA approval of venetoclax as a combination treatment for patients with AML and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Venetoclax was developed and marketed by AbbVie and Roche Holding Ltd subsidiary Genentech. BP1002 targets the same protein as venetoclax but via a different pathway. Bio-Path thinks BP1002 could provide an alternative for patients who have relapsed while on venetoclax.Shares of Bio-Path have gained 75% in the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 3%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.