Neurocrine Biosciences Inc (NBIX) experienced a significant setback on Sept. 8 when the company revealed a lower dose of a drug designed to treat a rare involuntary muscle movement disorder had failed to produce positive results. While the drug manufacturer plans on attempting a new trial of the drug with double the previously administered dose, the failure of the Phase IIb trial is unquestionably a major setback and will cost the company millions in retrials.
The drug in question, NBI-98854, would be the first drug on the market to treat the rare disorder known as tardive dyskinesia. The disorder is most prevalent in psychiatric patients who have been taking anti-psychotic medication for an extended period of time, and affects almost two-thirds of patients who have been on anti-psychotic medications for over 25 years.
While NBI-98854 has not been shelved, the drug was expected to be the company’s main revenue driver. Neurocrine now has to start over testing at Phase II of the trial, with an increased dosage of 100 mg, up from the 50 mg administered in the failed trial. 100 mg is considered to be the maximum safe dosage of the drug.
Neurocrine currently has no products on the market, and their only other drug with major market potential in the pipeline, the uterine fibroid medication Elagolix, is not expected to generate enough revenue to prop up Neuroscience’s stock price.
Neurocrine was hit hard by the trial failure. The company shed 28.8 percent of its value to hit $11.89 a share.
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