WRAPUP 2-Progenics' bowel drug faces bleak future - analysts

mercoledì 12 marzo 2008 20:33

(Adds analyst's comments, background; updates share movement)

By Varsha Tickoo

BANGALORE, March 12 (Reuters) - Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc's (PGNX.O: Quotazione) lead product, which failed a late-stage trial, may have to weather a long wait for approval, analysts cautioned, wiping out more than two-thirds of the drugmaker's market value.

Analysts at three brokerages downgraded the stock after the company on Wednesday said the intravenous form of its drug failed to improve bowel movements following surgery to remove parts of the colon.

"We have seen this movie a hundred times," Citigroup analyst Yaron Werber said in a note to clients. "Data release gets delayed, there is a lame excuse, and when released, the data is negative."

Progenics, whose stock fell to a five-year low on the news, is co-developing the drug, methylnaltrexone, with Wyeth WYE.N, whose shares were down more than 2 percent in afternoon trade.

Shares of Adolor Corp ADLR.O, which is also developing a bowel drug called Entereg, rose as much as 13 percent on Wednesday.

Analysts expect another late-stage trial evaluating Progenics' methylnaltrexone to also fail.

"We expect the next POI (post-operative ileus) trial to fail as well," Joel Sendek from Lazard Capital Markets said. He cut his rating on the stock to "hold" from "buy."   Continua...