From: Reuters
Published May 6, 2008 03:30 AM

Pfizer drops glaucoma drug, NicOx shares slump

PARIS (Reuters) - Pfizer <PFE.N> has decided not to take NicOx's <NCOX.PA> experimental glaucoma drug PF-03187207 into final Phase III tests after a mid-stage study failed to met its primary endpoint, sending NicOx shares tumbling.

The news is a major blow for NicOx, which has been working on developing eye treatments with Pfizer for four years, and shares in the French biotechnology company dived 30 percent to 10.10 euros by 3:20 a.m. EDT (0720 GMT) on Tuesday.

Despite the setback, however, Pfizer said it was not abandoning the collaboration with NicOx altogether.

"While the study did not meet its primary clinical endpoint and our criteria for launching a global Phase III program for this compound, we remain committed to our joint research program with NicOx, where the follow-up compounds to PF-03187207 have produced encouraging results," said Pfizer executive David Eveleth.

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In a Phase II clinical trial, PF-03187207 did not show a statistically significantly improvement over Pfizer's existing drug Xalatan. The new drug was tested on patients with primary open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension.

NicOx specializes in developing nitric oxide-releasing versions of drugs that offer therapeutic advantages over traditional formulations.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher and Ben Hirschler; Editing by Quentin Bryar)

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