Sonus shares shattered on drug failure

Shares of Sonus Pharmaceuticals took a nasty hit this morning after the company pulled the plug on its lead therapy for breast cancer. Its stock plunged 85 percent on the news that Tocosol Paclitaxel was less effective and linked to more side effects than Taxol. Sonus' therapy includes the same active ingredient as Taxol combined with vitamin E, which was supposed to reduce the side effects associated with Taxol.

"We don't know what went wrong and why,'' said Sonus CEO Michael Martino. Sonus' therapy helped shrink tumors in 37 percent of patients compared to the 45 percent of Taxol patients that experienced shrinkage. Sonus has scrapped all its development plans for the drug and expects Bayer AG, its partner for the therapy, to swiftly terminate its deal.

- see the release from Sonus
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