Xenon’s Teva-partnered pain drug flunks another test

The latest struggles for Xenon and Teva's pain drug come two years after it flopped in an osteoarthritis pain trial.

It’s another hard luck story for Xenon and partner Teva’s experimental pain drug TV-45070 after missing a full set of endpoints in patients with pain following shingles.

The topical drug was in a midstage test for post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), but failed to hit the primary endpoint of a statistically significant change in pain.It also missed all secondary endpoints, which include patients having greater than 30% and 50% improvement in pain scores, quality of life measurements and adverse events measurements.

TV-45070, formerly XEN402, was licensed by Xenon to Teva in December 2012 for $41 million up front and up to $335 million more tied to milestones. The drug, which works by blocking the sodium channels found in nerve endings, has also shown promise in the rare erythromelalgia, and Xenon believes it has broad potential in nerve pain.

But it’s been an unhappy deal, and comes two years after it also missed its goals in a phase 2b osteoarthritis pain trial. Its shares dropped 35% that day, and some were concerned that this would be a read-through for its PHN tests.

The companies plan to “further analyze the data from this study to determine the next steps for TV-45070, and may look to present study data at a relevant forthcoming scientific conference,” the pair said in a statement.

Xenon, which got off a $36 million IPO in 2014, was down more than 20% in early trading after the news broke.