* Says has no longer the ability to manufacture the drug
* Shares drop 7 pct in premarket trade
July 27 Biopharmaceutical company Insmed Inc
(INSM.O) said it had stopped supplying new patients with its
experimental drug Iplex for treating Lou Gehrig's disease, and
it said its limited inventory on hand must be conserved for
treating existing patients.
Insmed, which sold its Colorado manufacturing facility to
Merck & Co (MRK.N) earlier this year, said it has no longer the
ability to manufacture the drug and it would not initiate
further clinical trials with the drug at this time.
Iplex is approved for treating a growth hormone deficiency
but is not currently sold for that purpose because of a court
order related to patent infringement. The company is studying
Iplex as a potential treatment for muscular dystrophy.
About 70 patients currently receive the drug, including 12
in the United States, the company said.
Most of the patients receive Iplex pursuant to a
court-ordered extended access program to use the drug in Italy
to treat patients with Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, the company said.
ALS causes muscles to weaken and eventually deteriorate. It
usually develops in people between the ages of 40 and 60.
The company said it has sufficient Iplex inventory to
supply these patients for no more than 24 months.
Any agreement with a third party to manufacture Iplex would
not result in any production of the drug for at least 12 to 18
months, it said.
Insmed shares were down 7 percent at $1.00 in trading
before the bell. They closed at $1.07 Friday on Nasdaq.
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(Reporting by Anand Basu in Bangalore)