Axovant shares plunge after key drug program scrapped

(Reuters) - Axovant Sciences Ltd’s shares fell nearly 50 percent on Monday after the company scrapped its intepirdine program following the failure of its lead experimental treatment in a mid-stage study on patients suffering from a type of dementia.

The company said neither of the two doses of intepirdine given to patients with dementia with Lewy bodies resulted in improving their motor function, compared with the effects of a placebo.

The announcement comes roughly three months after Axovant said it would stop testing intepirdine on patients suffering from Alzheimer’s after a late-stage trial failed.

“Based on the totality of intepirdine data to date, there is no evidence to support its further development,” Chief Executive David Hung said in a statement.

The study tested 35 mg and 70 mg doses of intepirdine in patients with dementia with Lewy bodies over 24 weeks.

Axovant’s shares slumped about 44 percent to $3 before the bell on Monday. They had fallen about 78 percent since the Alzheimer’s trial failure.

Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza