Teva and Xenon rack up another setback as PhIIb study fails on every endpoint

The bad news is stacking up at Xenon Pharmaceuticals. Its most advanced drug just flopped in a Phase IIb at Teva, just three months after the biotech was forced to concede a stock-crunching Phase II failure for its in-house acne drug.

Teva and Xenon $XENE stuck with the top-line data today, noting that testing TV-45070 in patients with post-herpetic neuralgia failed at the primary as well as secondary endpoints. The failure comes two years after the same drug failed for osteoarthritis.

The small molecule drug is designed to hit sodium channel Nav1.7, a popular target in biotech. Teva swooped in back in 2012 to license the drug in a $376 million deal, with $41 million of that coming in an upfront payment.

Teva heralded a recent success for its Phase III CGRP drug, but the big pharma outfit has struggled to advance a set of major new drugs needed to guard its branded franchise. Just a little more than a month ago its disappointing successor to Copaxone failed a late-stage MS study, and Teva has been reorganizing after its generic drug business was hit by eroding prices.

Simon Pimstone

Xenon, meanwhile, saw its shares crushed a few months ago, and it didn’t fare well after this latest setback. Shares slid another 21% Tuesday morning as investors got a chance to assess the damage. It now trades around $3, a third of the company’s IPO price.

The biotech is also partnered with Genentech, though, with the storied biotech moving their work into Phase II.

Simon Pimstone, Xenon’s CEO, said:

While these results are disappointing for us from a scientific perspective and for patients needing new therapies to treat chronic neuropathic pain, Xenon remains focused on advancing its pipeline of neurology-related development candidates, with multiple programs anticipated to enter clinical development in 2017.

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