Gilead dumps disappointing late-stage blood pressure drug

Gilead Sciences has decided to dump the experimental blood pressure drug darusentan after it flunked a late-stage study. Researchers had hoped to see the same kind of efficacy reported from an earlier Phase III. But this trial failed to show that the drug lowered blood pressure when compared with a placebo. And faced with earlier evidence of some potentially serious side effects, Gilead opted to kill the project.

"We are disappointed that darusentan did not achieve its primary endpoints in this study," Norbert Bischofberger, Gilead's R&D chief, says in a statement. "As a result, we think it would be challenging to define an expedient path forward. We would likely be required to initiate another Phase III study and would rather allocate our resources to other promising research and development opportunities in our pipeline

TheStreet's Adam Feuerstein doesn't see the trial termination as a big deal for Gilead. But he can't resist raising the trial failure as fresh evidence that Gilead's $2.5 billion 2006 buyout of Myogen--the original developer of darusentan--hasn't paid off.

- check out Gilead's release
- here's the story from TheStreet