Allergan Inc.’s shares plummeted after it reported that late-stage studies evaluating its eye drug Darpin could be delayed up to two years.
The company said that mid-stage trial results of Darpin for patients with macular degeneration did not permit an immediate initiation into larger late-stage trials. Allergan had previously expected to launch the study for Darpin by late 2013.
After the announcement, Regeneron shares increased ten percent. Regeneron’s Eylea would be a direct competitor to Allergan’s Darpin, if approved. Eylea was approved in November of 2011 and had sales of $838 million in 2012. The company expects that 2013 sales for Eylea are expected to reach $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion.
Allergan’s mid-stage trial failed to show superiority when compared to Roche Holding AG’s Lucentis, which is indicated for treatment of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. Allergan said that data from the studies suggested that the medicines look different and provide enough information to continue testing in the future, however the company did not mention if the drugs benefits were greater or lasted longer than Lucentis.
Due to the high expense of late-stage trials, the company intends to ensure that the study has a high probability of success before conducting further trials.
Although the company’s shares declined after the announcement, its first quarter profit was better than expected from its sales of Botox and other specialty drugs.
Source: Allergan, Inc.
Last Updated: 5/2/13; 2:25PM EST