Shares of Amicus Therapeutics (FOLD) plunged 33 percent this morning after it announced that its therapy for Gaucher disease appeared to work in only one out of the 18 patients who completed a mid-stage trial. Lazard Capital Markets analyst William Tanner promptly downgraded the company and evidently rattled investors with an announcement that he wouldn't be surprised if the negative outcome prompted Amicus to walk away from the program.
"The drug was well tolerated, but although termination of development has not been definitively established we would not be surprised if Plicera advances no further," Tanner wrote. While JPMorgan analyst Geoffrey Meacham called the company's results a "blow to the pipeline," he's still holding out hope for Amicus' experimental therapy Amigal, a late-stage program for Fabry disease.
"The preliminary results of this Phase II study certainly do not meet our expectations, but we believe they do provide additional insights into the biological activity of Plicera in Gaucher disease and the pharmacological chaperone technology platform," said CEO John F. Crowley. "We plan a detailed analysis to ensure we have a complete understanding of the data."