March 20 (Reuters) - Israeli biopharmaceutical firm BioLineRx said it would stop a trial of its experimental schizophrenia drug after an interim analysis of study data showed that the drug would not meet the main goal of improving cognitive functions.
Shares of the company fell about 10 percent premarket, before trading was halted.
The analysis showed the drug, BL-1020, had no efficacy compared to Risperidone, an approved treatment for symptoms of schizophrenia.
Termination of the study would reduce the company's research and development expenses by about $6 million to $7 million for the rest of 2013 and a part of 2014, BioLineRx said in a statement.
The company said its current cash reserves of about $28 million would fund its operations into 2015.
"These disappointing results underscore the difficulty of treating cognition in schizophrenia, which remains an unmet medical need", Chief Executive Kinneret Savitsky said.