Intec blitzed by PhIII flop as lead program fails to beat Merck's standard combo for Parkinson’s
Intec Pharma’s $NTEC lead drug slammed into a brick wall Monday morning. The small-cap Israeli biotech reported that its lead program — coming off a platform designed to produce a safer, more effective oral drug for Parkinson’s — failed the Phase III at the primary endpoint.
Researchers at Intec, which has already seen its share price collapse over the past few months, says that its Accordion Pill-Carbidopa/Levodopa failed to prove superior to Sinemet in reducing daily ‘off’ time.
Sinemet is Merck’s carbidopa/levodopa combo, which the pharma giant announced just days ago would be pulled from the US market after cheap generics had taken over.
After the stock opened ahead of the bell, its share price was eviscerated, plunging 78% and settling deep into penny stock territory.
CEO Jeffrey Meckler went hunting for a silver lining, saying that the safety features of the drug should prove reassuring to investors as they consider it “important for future potential applications and partnerships.”
The biotech started the week ahead of the news with a market cap of $99 million.
The CMO also trotted out the notion that the data underscored an effect in patient subsets, a widely discredited approach to teasing something positive out of failure.
Upon our on-going preliminary review of the data, we have noted that certain subsets of patients performed particularly well. In those patients, we see a meaningful reduction in OFF time. We will continue to analyze the full data set and expect that such findings will help inform our strategy for AP-CD/LD moving forward.
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