Liponex shares hammered on trial failure

Investors severely punished Liponex on the news that its "good cholesterol" therapy had failed a human trial with heart patients. The Canadian developer, which had watched its stock price climb 250 percent after the failure of Pfizer's torcetrapib several months ago, saw its stock price shrink 78 percent this morning. In a familiar display of the swift retribution that can fall on a small biotech company, Liponex lost $41 million in value. But company execs say that the failure of CRD5 to significantly increase HDL levels in Phase 1/2 does not kill the drug's potential. A researcher speculated that the company may have made a fatal miscalculation in running the trial over the Christmas season as excessive drinking reduces HDL. Liponex has six million dollars on hand, which it says is enough to get it through the next trial.

"This trial data did not meet expectations consistent with the efficacy data seen in earlier pre-clinical and clinical studies," said Liponex's chief executive Bill Dickie in a statement. "However, the trial provided us with important information to continue development and we remain confident that this compound is still a viable drug candidate in a hugely attractive market space."

- check out the release from Liponex
- here's the report on Liponex from the CBC