Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan (via AP Images)

Go­ing 0-for-4 on a big PhI­II pro­gram, No­var­tis scraps their top asth­ma prospect and sig­nals big trou­ble for a lit­tle biotech

No­var­tis this morn­ing re­port­ed that their asth­ma drug fe­vip­iprant flunked two more Phase III stud­ies, crush­ing their hopes in what had been a star H2 de­vel­op­ment pro­gram at the phar­ma gi­ant.

Back in Oc­to­ber No­var­tis buried the news that fe­vip­iprant had failed the first 2 Phase III stud­ies in their Q3 re­port, not­ing a lack of suc­cess in scor­ing an im­prove­ment in FEV1 among mod­er­ate pa­tients. But the phar­ma gi­ant im­me­di­ate­ly shift­ed fo­cus to LUS­TER 1 and 2 in mod­er­ate to se­vere pa­tients, not­ing that they were the core stud­ies need­ed for reg­is­tra­tion and a block­buster fu­ture.

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