Drug Development

Alcobra blasted by a PhIII flop for ADHD drug as its options dwindle

Yaron Daniely, Alcobra

You can turn out the lights at Alcobra. The party is over, and it ended badly.

This morning the Israeli biotech $ADHD revealed that its Phase III study of MDX flopped. The drug failed to distinguish itself from a placebo, and the company will now start considering the strategic options left to it as a result.

There won’t be many options to choose from. MDX was its only drug in the clinic and in a conference call with investors execs told analysts that they are ending work on the program.

“In the coming weeks, the Company intends to review the full data set from MEASURE. Consequently, we will evaluate our options and communicate our strategic plan to investors,” stated Dr. Yaron Daniely, the CEO of Alcobra.

Alcobra’s stock cratered on the news, dropping 47% by early morning trading and closing in on penny stock territory.

This drug has been a chronic disappointment over the years. In one study the data had to be considerably teased before it could be squeezed into a positive profile, which researchers helped by dropping some of the placebo responses they recorded. The FDA put the drug on a clinical hold last fall, changing it to a partial a few days ago and allowing a look at the data gathered so far. A Phase II failure in 2015 — acknowledged only after a careful readout on safety — helped raise the odds against success.

Alcobra went into this round as a welter weight biotech, its market cap down to a mere $52 million.


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