Teva's ALS drug flunks a Phase II trial

Teva Pharmaceuticals' experimental therapy for Lou Gehrig's disease failed a mid-stage clinical trial. Researchers said that its amyotrophic lateral sclerosis drug talampanel failed to hit the primary endpoint for a reduction in disease-related functional deterioration.

Teva's release revealed little about the data. Researchers studied the drug in a Phase II trial that recruited 559 patients divided into three groups. Two groups received differing doses of the drug, and the third was given a placebo.

"Despite our hopes of advancing the treatment of this debilitating disease, Talampanel did not succeed in demonstrating the required efficacy, although safety was established," said Moshe Manor, Teva's vice president for global branded products. "This outcome has no impact on our 2015 innovative goal. Broadening our innovative pipeline--through internal R&D, licensing and other business development activities--is part of our long-term strategy."

Israel's Teva is best known for its aggressive role in the generics business. But it's been beefing up its work in new drug development as well. The money it makes from generics, though, did help buffer it from any fallout that may have been registered among investors. Its share price barely moved on the news.

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