NicOx shares plunge on Pfizer trial failure

Shares of France's NicOx tumbled 38 percent after Pfizer announced that it would not advance their experimental therapy for glaucoma into Phase III. Researchers for Pfizer said that Phase II data was "interesting" but failed to meet its primary endpoint. That was all investors had to hear. They drove NicOx shares down to a five-year low.

There was some good news for NicOx. Pfizer says it remains committed to the program and may pursue new research on the compound once a Phase II trial in Asia is wrapped. That data is expected in the third quarter of this year.

NicOx's drug platform involves enhancing therapeutics with nitric oxide. PF-03187207 is a new version of Pfizer's Xalatan, the best-selling glaucoma medicine. The failed mid-stage trial did produce data indicating the new therapy demonstrated "clinically significant reduction in diurnal intraocular pressure" compared to Xalatan.

"We believe this Phase II study for PF-03187207 has provided interesting data," said David Eveleth, Pfizer's vice president, ophthalmology development. "While the study did not meet its primary clinical endpoint and our criteria for launching a global Phase III program for this compound, we remain committed to our joint research program with NicOx, where the follow-up compounds to PF-03187207 have produced encouraging results."

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