Tranzyme takes a beating after scuttling another drug study

Research Triangle Park, NC-based Tranzyme ($TZYM) offered another bitter pill for its investors today. The biotech says it is discontinuing a Phase IIb study of its lead drug for diabetic patients suffering from gastroparesis after concluding that the treatment--TZP-102--failed to deliver the needed efficacy. 

"The results are consistent with the findings of a prior Phase IIb trial in that there was a very large placebo effect and no treatment effect," reported Tranzyme, sending its already battered shares down by 22% this morning.

The blast of bad news wraps a terrible year for the biotech company. Back in the spring, Tranzyme switched focus after its lead drug failed to beat a placebo in a pair of late-stage trials aimed at speeding GI recovery in subjects who had undergone partial bowel resection. Then a little more than a month ago the developer announced that its backup program for diabetic gastroparesis failed a Phase IIb study, holding out hope that its mirror study--with a thrice-daily dosing that company executives had hoped could overcome the big placebo effect seen in the first Phase IIb--would come through.

It didn't. This morning its shares were down to 61 cents a share, a bad way to end a year.

- read the press release
- here's the AP story

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