If you go by the market's reaction, you'd think Genfit is out of the highly watched race to bring a drug for the liver disease NASH to market. Genfit Chief Executive Jean-Francois Mouney said that's a mistake.
"It's an overreaction," Mouney said by telephone Friday, of Genfit stock's 31 percent decline. "We have proven that our compound can reverse NASH." (For the latest stock quote, click here.)
The study, reported Thursday afternoon, missed its primary goal, as many patients with earlier stages of the disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, saw the condition clear up on its own. Genfit said excluding those patients, the study was a success. It plans to move forward to later stages of trials.
In the study, about 15 percent of the patients were in the early stages of the disease, Mouney said.
The results drove up shares of competitor Intercept, which analysts have now named the clear leader in the race to market. NASH affects as many as 5 to 10 percent of Americans and is associated with obesity and diabetes, making it a large market, worth potentially $30 billion to $40 billion annually, by some estimates.