Neurocrine depression drug disappointing in Ph2

Neurocrine Biosciences' experimental depression drug being developed with GlaxoSmithKline failed to ease the symptoms of patients enrolled in a Phase II trial.

According to a statement, an analysis revealed no benefit of Corticotropin (GSK561679) compared with placebo on two endpoints. The top-line results are based on the six-week, placebo-controlled portion of the study for the intent to treat population of 145 patients. There were no significant adverse events, and the drug was generally well tolerated, the company says.

"It is clear from this study that CRF1 remains a difficult drug target in the drive to improve current pharmaceutical therapies for depression," says Kevin Gorman, president and CEO of Neurocrine Biosciences. "We plan to meet with GSK in the coming months after the full clinical data set is complete to determine the next steps for the CRF depression program."

Neurocrine fell 45 cents, or 7.2 percent, to $5.80 in extended trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market after rising three percent earlier to close at $6.25, according to Bloomberg. The company's shares have more than doubled this year.

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