Wyeth and Progenics were handed a serious blow today when their intravenous drug methylnaltrexone for postoperative ileus flunked the first of two Phase III trials. Initial results from the study showed that the drug didn't reduce time to recovery of gastrointestinal function more effectively than placebo. In addition, methylnaltrexone wasn't superior to placebo for surgical recovery. In a statement, Progenics founder and CEO Paul Maddon said the results were inconsistent with earlier trials.
"Despite the results of this Phase III trial for POI, we remain confident in the methylnaltrexone development program," says Robert Ruffolo, Ph.D., President, Research and Development, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. "We will continue to develop the methylnaltrexone franchise to help address the unmet medical need of patients suffering with the gastrointestinal side effects of opioids." Investors crushed Progenics stock on the news, sending shares down over 50 percent to $6.
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