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: Tempest Therapeutics shares head back to earth after 4,000% gain

Shares of microcap oncology company Tempest Therapeutics Inc. TPST, -57.53% dropped more than 50% Thursday as investors took a breath after the stock’s roughly 40-fold gain on Wednesday.

Trading in Tempest shares was halted briefly for volatility shortly after the market opened Thursday.

The stock’s 3,973% surge Wednesday started after Tempest released new study results for its investigational treatment TPST-1120 in patients with liver cancer and announced a limited-duration stockholder-rights plan, or “poison pill,” which the company said would help shareholders realize the long-term value of their investment.

The drug candidate, when combined with the Roche Holding AG RHHBY, -0.91% monoclonal antibodies Tecentriq and Avastin, showed clinical superiority in treating unresectable or metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma, an aggressive form of liver cancer, Tempest said in a release Wednesday.

Given the high mortality rates associated with this type of cancer, “we’re enthusiastic about the potential to move TPST-1120 forward,” Tempest President and CEO Stephen Brady said on a call with analysts Wednesday. “We have thought through multiple approval strategies and look forward to advancing our discussions with potential partners who share the vision for TPST-1120.”

As the company looks to move the drug into a larger pivotal study, it’s seeking a partner in part to control costs, Brady said on the call. “If Tempest were to do this 100% alone, pay for everything, including companion drugs, you’re looking at north of $100 million to do this study,” he said.

Tempest shares are up 277% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 SPX has gained 14.2%.

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