Adial Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ADIL) plans to expand the potential of its lead drug AD04, designed to treat alcohol-use disorder, to benefit patients with opioid-use disorder.
A Phase 2b clinical trial of the drug showed “promising results” in treating patients with alcohol use disorder, reducing the frequency and quantity of drinking without any serious adverse effects reported.
Shares more than doubled by Thursday’s closing bell, dipping around 8% to $3.85 in Friday pre-market trading.
“We are expanding our activities around AD04 to include opioid use disorder (OUD) and believe this program has significant potential since the physiology and neuro-transmitters involved in opioid addiction are similar to alcohol and could be expected to be modulated by a serotonin-3 receptor antagonist,” said CEO William Stilley in the company’s press statement.
The company is hopeful that AD04 can bring something to the table in an underserved market as the use of opioid and synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, continue to contribute to overdose deaths in the US.
The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 72,000 people in the US died of drug overdoses in 2017, linking two-thirds of those deaths to opioids.
The clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focuses on the development of treatments for addictions.