XTL shares clobbered on lead drug trial failure

Shares of New York-based XTL Biopharmaceuticals were almost completely wiped out overnight after the developer announced that a mid-stage trial of its lead therapy failed to hit its primary endpoint. After closing at $2.23 the stock price had fallen to seven cents ahead of the bell, a drop of 97 percent.

Researchers were studying responses to two doses of bicifadine, a drug designed to treat diabetic neuropathic pain, against a placebo in a Phase IIb study. The primary endpoint of the study was the reduction in pain score during the course of treatment. The trial also failed to meet key secondary analysis.

"We will devote the next few days to further analyze the data and decide on the appropriate course of action for the Bicifadine program, and for the company," Chief Executive Ron Bentsur said in a statement.

- see XLT's release