According to the company, the trial evaluated the effectiveness of the drug cytisinicline on smoking cessation. The plant-based compound, also known as cytisine, interacts with the brain’s nicotine receptors to reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Shares of the Washington State-based biotech more than doubled to US$3.90.
"Given the short 25-day treatment period, the abstinence rates observed are impressive, particularly since subjects were not required to commit to quitting and received minimal behavioral support during the study. These results continue to support our belief that cytisinicline could be a well-tolerated and effective potential treatment option for the millions of people who are battling nicotine addiction," said chief medical officer Dr. Cindy Jacobs.
A total of 26 smokers participated in the study, who smoked an average of 17.2 cigarettes a day.
The randomized study used 1.5mg and 3mg doses of cytisinicline over 25 days.
"All subjects had a significant and immediate reduction in cigarettes smoked within two days of initiating cytisinicline treatment," said the company in a release, adding that by day 26, study participants had an average reduction of 80% in the number of cigarettes smoked during treatment.
Additionally, there was an 82% reduction in expired carbon monoxide and 46% of participants stopped smoking.
According to the company, cytisinicline was well tolerated, with only "transient, mild-to-moderate headache" as the most common side-effect.
Contact Katie Lewis at [email protected]