PARIS French biotechnology firm Nicox (NCOX.PA) said on Monday U.S. partner Pfizer (PFE.N) had decided not to launch Phase III studies in Asia of an experimental treatment of glaucoma and ocular hypertension.
"Nicox and Pfizer are currently in discussions regarding the rights to PF-03187207 (the tested nitric oxide-donating treatment), to allow its potential continued development and commercialization," Nicox said in a statement.
In May, Pfizer decided not to take Nicox's experimental glaucoma drug PF-03187207 into final Phase III tests outside of Asia after a mid-stage study failed to meet its primary endpoint, causing Nicox shares to tumble.
The news was a serious blow to Nicox as it had been working on developing eye treatments with Pfizer for over four years.
But on Monday, Nicox said joint research with Pfizer would now focus on diabetic retinopathy.
"We are also pleased by the progress that has been made in the research program focused on diabetic retinopathy, where we hope a lead compound will be selected in the first half of next year," Nicox Chairman and Chief Executive Michele Garufi said in a statement.
(Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt)