UPDATE 1-Neurobiological stops enrollment in stroke drug trial

Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:03am EST

Dec 17 (Reuters) - Neurobiological Technologies Inc NTII.O stopped further enrollment in the clinical trials of its experimental treatment for acute ischemic stroke after an independent data safety monitoring board determined the drug did not improve overall patient outcomes.

The interim analysis conducted by the board compared the drug Viprinex with a dummy drug in treating stroke patients. The board determined there was no clinically meaningful difference in outcome between the two treatment groups.

The company, which called the news "a significant set-back," said it would analyze the data before evaluating the potential for any future development of Viprinex.

"In the meantime, we are implementing plans we have developed to reduce our expenses, which will likely result in a significant reduction in our overall headcount if we determine that future development of Viprinex is not warranted," Chief Executive Paul Freiman said. The company's shares, which have lost 85 percent of their value over the last 12 months, closed at 46 cents Tuesday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Esha Dey in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)