La Jolla CEO decamps just as biotech faces a reckoning for iron overload drug
Months after touting how LJPC-401 appears to significantly lower excess iron levels in a small study involving patients with hereditary hemochromatosis, La Jolla Pharmaceutical is reconsidering its plans as the drug flopped for beta thalassemia patients. And they’ll be reviewing their future under a new CEO — with a seriously deflated share price.
The San Diego-based biotech is gutting that study, LJ401-BT01, immediately. A recent interim analysis, which included about half of the enrolled population, suggested a lack of efficacy. As far as they could tell, patients on the treatment and control arms saw the same changes in cardiac iron levels, the primary endpoint, and in other iron, hematology and endocrine measurements.
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