Neozyme II Corp. and NABI stopped development ofHyperGam+CF because the immune globulin failed to demonstratebenefit in a Phase II trial assessing its ability to treat severePseudomonal lung infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients.
The HyperGam+CF collaboration began in August 1993 whenUnivax Biologics Inc. and Genzyme Corp. agreed to develop theproduct for bacterial infections in CF patients. Genzyme, ofCambridge, Mass., assigned rights to Neozyme, also of Cambridge,which Genzyme had spun off to develop CF therapies, and Univaxwas acquired last year by NABI.
NABI's stock (NASDAQ:NABI) fell $2.19 on Monday's news, or 20percent, and gained 6 cents back Tuesday to close at $9. Neozyme(NASDAQ:NIIUF) lost $4.75 Monday and $3 Tuesday to close at$43.25, a 15 percent drop over two days.
NABI, of Boca Raton, Fla., and Neozyme stopped the placebo-controlled, double-blind study trial in 175 patients after an interimanalysis showed no evidence of a reduction in the number of acutepulmonary exacerbations. No safety issues were involved.
The original deal called for Genzyme to make a $5 million equityinvestment and contribute two-thirds of developmental funding.Genzyme and NABI have no other collaborations.
David Gury, president and CEO of NABI, said spending on theHyperGam program will be diverted to the 11 other products inNABI's pipeline. There is no short-term impact on sales andearnings, he said, since revenues from HyperGam were not expecteduntil 1999 at the earliest.
Gury said he was disappointed in Monday's stock drop. "People arenot seeing the underlying value of our pipeline," he said. _ JimShrine
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