Pharming shares sink after Rhucin gets thumbs down

There's new trouble for Pharming's Rhucin, an experimental treatment for hereditary angioedema. Pharming shares plunged after the company announced that the EMEA's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use is expected to refuse to approve Rhucin, saying that there is insufficient evidence of clinical benefits after repeated use and a possibility of immune system reactions. Pharming's shares were down about 27 percent after initially dropping by almost half.

Rhucin has been a major headache for Pharming since the EMEA first denied approval last December, sending its stock into a downward spiral. The drug is manufactured in the milk of transgenic animals and has long been held up as a leading example of the potential of transgenic therapies. But Pharming isn't giving up. "European denial for the drug is not the end for Rhucin nor for Pharming," Chief Commercial Officer Rein Strijker told reporters. The company insists that additional data will convincingly make their case for Rhucin and win eventual approval.

- see Pharming's release
- check out the ABN story