Actelion brain hemorrhage drug misses goal

Switzerland's Actelion has reported that its potential blockbuster drug clazosentan for treatment of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage has failed a late-stage trial, causing analysts to doubt whether the drug will ever make it to market. "The failure of clazosentan is bad news for Actelion," Sarasin analyst David Kaegi tells Reuters. "The study was potentially the most important catalyst for Actelion shares this year." Clazosentan demonstrated a non-significant relative risk reduction of 17 percent in patients who had suffered a hemorrhage. Actelion is still looking into another trial of the drug for a similar indication.

The Swiss company is trying to reduce its dependence on heart and lung drug Tracleer, which represented 90 percent of the company's sales in 2009. Actelion said it will provide an update on the clazosentan development program in its upcoming Q3 reporting, scheduled for October 21.

"Actelion will continue to focus on growing its existing business," says CEO Jean-Paul Clozel in a statement. "With four marketed products, Actelion is generating the necessary revenues to continue to invest appropriately in clinical studies for our more than 10 development compounds."

- take a look at the Actelion release
- read the Reuters story