Shares of NicOx have been buoyed by the news that the French developer has reacquired the rights to an experimental glaucoma therapy that has completed--and failed--two mid-stage trials. Pfizer gave up its rights in exchange for two milestone payments dependent on approval and sale of the drug. And NicOx also retrieved several other compounds aimed at diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.
Researchers say that PF-03187207 in combination with Pfizer's Xalatan (latanoprost) failed to hit primary endpoints in Phase II for glaucoma and ocular hypertension. As a result, Pfizer opted not to take the drug into Phase III. But NicOx still believes that the program has merit, and has launched a new campaign to find a collaborator who can agree on that.
PF-03187207 "has good potential to be registered for glaucoma and ocular hypertension and could represent an important new treatment option," insists NicOx VP of Business Development Gavin Spencer. Investors seemed to agree with that sentiment, sending shares of the company up more than six percent this morning. Analysts, though, believe the company's stock is volatile.
"NicOx did not have much choice other than taking back the product," one Paris-based analyst told Reuters. "It will not have cost them much and they could find a partner."