Anthera hits another setback as its Japanese partner quits on blisibimod

Anthera Pharmaceuticals ($ANTH) is back on the hunt for a partner in Asia after Japanese drugmaker Zenyaku pulled the plug on the pair's collaboration, clouding the future for the company's lupus drug. Zenyaku is backing out of a 2014 agreement covering Anthera's blisibimod, exercising its termination clause and agreeing to return Japanese rights to the drug in January. The treatment's progress in Japan "has been disappointing," Anthera CEO Paul Truex said in a statement, as Zenyaku never enrolled any clinical trials and didn't purchase any blisibimod from its partner. But Anthera says its brief partnership provided enough in the way of financing to help fund blisibimod's future, including an ongoing late-stage study in nephropathy. More