Inspire shares slide after eye drug flunks Phase III

Shares of Durham, NC-based Inspire Pharmaceuticals (ISPH) quickly slid 8 percent after investors got wind of a late-stage failure for Prolacria, which was in Phase III for the treatment of dry eye disease.

The eye drug, which is Inspire's lead candidate in the pipeline, not only failed to hit its primary goal--zero staining following the assessment of a test designed to find foreign elements and corneal damage--but also its secondary goal of a reduction in staining scores compared with a placebo.

"We have provided the top-line results from this trial to our partner Allergan Inc. and we will be conducting a thorough review of the program before determining next steps, if any," Chief Executive Christy Shaffer says in a statement.

Trial 03-113 was a six-week, randomized, placebo-controlled trial in 490 patients who had a fluorescein staining score of three in the central region of the cornea at baseline, using the National Eye Institute scale of zero to three.

- here's the press release for more