Keryx shares in meltdown after late-stage failure

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals' stock price wiped out this morning on the rocky shores of a failed late-stage trial of its lead drug, Sulonex, for diabetes. The news landed in a market that has little stomach for failure, and Keryx shares swiftly lost 81 percent of their value. Keryx shares were trading for $1 in after-market trading, down from $5.26 on Friday's close and a high of $11.70 last summer.

Researchers say the drug failed to hit its Phase III primary endpoint: therapeutic success at six months compared to placebo. But all is not lost, insists CEO Michael Weiss, who says Keryx will now focus on its experimental therapies for kidney disease and cancer--both in mid-stage development.

"While this represents the end of one chapter for Keryx, it is not the end of Keryx," said Chairman and Chief Executive Michael S. Weiss in a statement. "Drug development is inherently risky and, accordingly, we have spent the last several years building what we believe to be a promising product portfolio in the event our lead drug failed."

- see this release on the failure
- check out the AP report 

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