March 12, 2018 / 12:25 PM / 8 days ago

Anthera to explore options after lead drug fails trial, shares slump

(Reuters) - Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Monday it would evaluate all strategic options after its lead drug failed in a late-stage trial, sending its shares down 80 percent in premarket trading.

The company said it would stop developing the drug, Sollpura, which aimed to treat improper digestion due to cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections.

Sollpura was being tested on patients whose cystic fibrosis had led to exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, an enzyme deficiency that leads to improper digestion.

Anthera has another treatment, blisibimod, which is being tested in a mid-stage study for a type of kidney disease.

Shares of the company were trading at 40 cents in premarket trading. Stock had risen 60 percent up to Friday’s close.

Reporting by Mrinalini Krothapalli in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Arun Koyyur

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