Mast Therapeutics Inc (NYSEMKT:MSTX) is edging higher in the market even on posting a second-quarter loss of $10.7 million compared to a net loss of $10.2 million last year. The gains in the stock revolve around growing investors’ confidence on the company’s candidate drug vexoloxamer, for the treatment of sickle cell disease.

 Sickle Cell Push

Data from the study has been delayed a number of items but it appears the setbacks have so far been priced in, as investors await favorable results. During the recent earnings call, Chief executive officer Brian Culley reiterated that they are working round the clock to report top-line data from the EPIC study.

“With 388 subjects randomized at study sites around the globe, EPIC was the largest placebo-controlled study in sickle cell disease, ever concluded and we look forward to announcing results next month,” said Mr. Culley.

 Mass Therapeutics has already teamed up with industry leaders as well as patient advocacy groups, researchers, and clinicians as it looks to take a front role in the fight against sickle cell. Operating under the Sickle Cell Disease Coalition the group intends to change status quo in the awareness and treatment of the disease.

 Emerging Risks

 In addition to the Epic Study, Mast Therapeutics is also working on the clinical development of AIR001 in Phase 2 studies. Amidst the string of positive news on the clinical trials, there are still a number of risks worth looking out for, on Mast Therapeutics.

Companies in the pharmaceutical industry tend to release positive results much faster than negative results. Further delays on the release of the clinical data could spook investors pushing the stock lower in the market. Given that the company is not facing any fundamental problems could explain why the stock is edging higher amidst the delays on the crucial clinical trial.

 Positive clinical results, on the other hand, should provide the much-needed support needed to steer Mast Therapeutics Inc (NYSEMKT:MSTX) above its 52-week high of $0.71 a share.