(Adds details, updates stock movement)
April 28 Athersys Inc said its
experimental stem-cell therapy for treating an inflammatory
bowel disease failed to show any meaningful benefit in early
results from a trial, sending its shares plunging 57 percent
before the bell.
The mid-stage trial, conducted by Athersys's partner Pfizer
Inc, did not show a statistically significant reduction
in the severity of the disease and rectal bleeding, compared to
a placebo after 8 weeks of treatment.
The trial enrolled 88 patients with moderate-to-severe
ulcerative colitis, a chronic disease that causes inflammation
and sores in the lining of the large intestine.
The stem-cell therapy, known as MultiStem, is derived from
adult bone marrow or other tissue sources and is designed to
reduce inflammation and protect and heal damaged tissue.
MultiStem was being tested in patients with ulcerative
colitis who have become resistant, intolerant or unresponsive to
Athersys said the therapy was safe and well tolerated.
The company said it would later release trial data from
patients receiving a second round of dosing.
Athersys is also testing the treatment in patients with
certain heart diseases, immune disorders and neurological
The company's shares were down nearly 53 percent at $1.29 in
premarket trade. They closed at $2.73 on the Nasdaq on Friday.
(Reporting by Esha Dey and Vrinda Manocha in Bangalore; Editing
by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)