Dermira Stocks Plummet Over -65% Over Drug Failure

Stocks in Biopharmaceutical company Dermira have plummeted nearly -65% over the weekend on reports that its acne drug olumacostat glasaretil has failed it’s Phase 3 trials. 

In a news release, Dermira announced that the drug, which was being tested as a treatment for moderate-to-severe acne vulgaris on patients aged 9 years or older, did not meet the co-primary endpoints in its two Phase-3 trials. This will be a major blow to the company, which specializes in the treatment of chronic skin conditions such as hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), acne and atopic dermatitis (severe itching), which together affect many millions of US citizens. 

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At the time of writing, (3:27PM EST), share prices in Dermira sit at $8.97 USD, down -64.35% in the last 24 hours and bringing the company’s market cap to $375.98M. This time last year, Dermira’s shares were valued at $35.51- 74.7% higher.

“We are surprised and extremely disappointed by the results of the Phase 3 program,” said Dermira CEO and chairman Tom Wiggans. “This is disappointing not only for the company but also for patients who are living with this condition and dermatologists who have been looking for novel therapies to treat them.”

The drug remains safe to take, and no unexpected side-effects or events arose in the participants. The problem is that the drug didn’t improve anything, either. None of the measurements taken from the participants showed any improvements large enough to be considered statistically significant, meaning that the trial was a failure. 

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Despite Olumacostat glasaretil’s failure, there are other drugs in the company’s pipeline which are showing promise. Glycopyrronium tosylate, which has been developed for the treatment of excessive sweating, has passed all trial phases and is awaiting FDA approval. In addition, Dermira’s 4Q and full year 2017 report published last month highlighted increased research and development costs of $27.8M in 4Q 2017, up from $20.9M the year before. It is a shame that a trial failure has marred an otherwise clearly determined company’s record. 

Investors still holding on can look forward to developments in the Phase 2b study of librikizumab, a drug being developed by Dermira for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Currently, results are expected in the first half of 2019. Until then, we will have to see if Dermira’s share value rebounds up or continues to run at today’s low for the foreseeable future.

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About the author: Ed Browne is a content writer currently living in Vancouver, Canada. He currently writes on the subject of business and finance but has previous experience in human interest articles as well as music reporting. Ed is originally from the UK and spent most of his time working in pubs and bars before graduating and entering a journalistic field.