Epix shares dive after mid-stage depression failure

Epix Pharmaceuticals has pulled the plug on its depression drug, saying that a mid-stage trial of PRX-00023 failed to demonstrate sufficient efficacy for major depression. Investors bailed on the news, sending its shares down by about a third.

"While PRX-00023 continued to show a highly desirable safety and tolerability profile, we are disappointed in the overall results observed in our recently completed Phase IIb trial in major depressive disorder," stated Michael G. Kauffman, M.D., Ph.D., chief executive officer of EPIX. "In light of these results, we have made the strategic decision to discontinue further development of this product candidate."

Next up: A right-heart catheter study for PRX-08066 in patients suffering from pulmonary hypertension from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Kauffman also tried to assuage the market by highlighting a slate of ongoing partnerships with leading developers like Amgen and Glaxo as well as its late-stage work on Vasovist.

- check out the press release for more