Shares of Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc. fell 64 percent today after the Eastview-based drugmaker announced that an experimental drug failed a late-stage clinical trial.
The stock fell $8.62 today to end trading at $4.93 a share.
The drug, known as intravenous methylnaltrexone, was being evaluated as a treatment for constipation in patients following colon surgery.
Preliminary results from a Phase 3 trial, conducted by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, showed that the drug failed to reduce the time it takes for patients have a bowel movement after surgery, compared to a placebo, or fake drug.
Those given the drug were given does of 12 milligrams or 24 milligrams every six hours, the companies said, noting that the drug was generally well tolerated.
The results of the study, which involved 542 patients, were inconsistent with a smaller, earlier study of 65 patients that showed positive results for the condition, known as postoperative ileus, said Dr. Paul J. Maddon, Progenics founder, chief executive and chief science officer.
â€œWe are conducting the necessary analyses to determine greater clarity regarding the outcome of this clinical study,â€ Maddon said.
â€œDespite the results of this Phase 3 trial for POI, we remain confident in the methylnaltrexone development program,â€ said Robert Ruffolo, president of research and development at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.