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Dermira terminates acne drug after Phase 3 failure, wiping $667m from market value

Published on 05/03/18 at 04:58pm

Skin specialist biopharma firm Dermira has seen its stock crash and burn following the announcement that it plans to terminate development of acne treatment olumacostat glasaretil after it failed to show statistically significant efficacy as a therapy for moderate to severe forms of the skin condition in patients older than nine years old.

The drug failed to meet its co-primary endpoints in two Phase 3 trials after 12 weeks of treatment. In both trials, olumacostat glasaretil demonstrated a reduction of 14.3 and 16.6 from baseline in inflammatory and non-inflammatory lesion counts, compared to 13.7 and 15.3 with placebo. Additionally, 19.1% and 16.3% of patients taking the drug achieved at least a two-grade improvement from baseline to a final grade of zero or one on the five-point Investigator’s Global Assessment (IGA) scale, compared to 20.8% and 11.8% with placebo.

The news proved devastating for the company, which saw as much as 63% of its stock value disappear, representing a loss of $667 million.

“We are surprised and extremely disappointed by the results of the Phase 3 programme,” said Tom Wiggans, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dermira. “This is disappointing not only for the company, but also for patients who are living with this condition and dermatologists who have been looking for novel therapies to treat them.”

Chief Development Officer Luis Peña added: “We are continuing to analyse the outcome of the olumacostat glasaretil Phase 3 programme. However, based on the information we have to date, we expect to discontinue the development programme. We want to thank our employees, investigators and partners for their commitments to the acne development programme and, most importantly, the patients who participated in these trials.”

Matt Fellows

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