(Corrects next-to-last paragraph to Zyprexa schizophrenia
drug, instead of Plavix blood clot preventer)
* Lilly, BioMS say drug fails main, secondary trial goals
* Second trial failure this year ends hope for medicine
* Lilly shares little changed after hours
(Adds details on failed trial, termination of studies)
By Ransdell Pierson
NEW YORK, July 27 Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N) and
BioMS Medical Corp MS.TO said on Monday their experimental
treatment for multiple sclerosis failed to delay progression of
the disease in a late-stage trial and that they would
discontinue all ongoing studies of the product.
The death knell for BioMS' main product comes six months
after the drug, called dirucotide, failed to meet a main goal
in a mid-stage study, sending the tiny company's shares down
more than 50 percent.
In the earlier study, the drug failed to prevent symptoms
of the potentially crippling neurologic condition from
returning among patients with the relapsing-remitting type of
the disease. Such patients have unpredictable relapses followed
by months to years of remission.
The drugmakers, which have been collaborating since late
2008 on dirucotide, said the latest negative results were seen
in a study of the drug that involved 612 patients with
secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS). Such patients
have initial relapsing-remitting MS, but then begin to have
progressive neurologic decline between acute attacks without
definite periods of remission.
Patients in the study were divided into groups that
received either dirucotide or a placebo intravenously every six
months for two years.
In addition to failing its primary goal of delaying the
time it took for the disease to worsen in patients, the drug
also failed secondary goals, the drugmakers said.
"We are obviously disappointed by this result and will be
working closely with our clinical team to evaluate these data,"
BioMS Medical Chief Executive Kevin Giese said in a statement.
The deal between the two drugmakers gave Lilly worldwide
rights to dirucotide and BioMS an upfront payment of $87
million. In addition, BioMS was given the right to potential
milestone payments of up to $410 million and escalating
royalties on sales if the drug was approved.
Indianapolis, Indiana-based Lilly, which badly needs new
drugs as it girds for the looming patent expiration of its
Zyprexa schizophrenia drug, has been responsible for research
and development of the drug.
Shares of Lilly, a far bigger company than BioMS that sells
an array of medicines, fell slightly after hours to $34.89
after closing up 1.36 percent at $35.15 on the New York Stock
(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Toni Reinhold)