UPDATE 2-Forest, Glenmark drug fails against smoker's cough

mercoledì 19 agosto 2009 10:57

* Phase IIb trial shows no meaningful benefit

* Glenmark shares fall 17 pct to lowest in over a month

* Failure could deter potential Glenmark partners

* Drug still being tested to treat asthma (Recasts, adds analyst, company comment, details on Glenmark pipeline, shares, changes dateline from NEW YORK)

By Swati Pandey and Pratish Narayanan

MUMBAI, Aug 19 (Reuters) - India's Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (GLEN.BO: Quotazione) and U.S. partner Forest Laboratories FRX.N said a drug they were developing to treat smoker's cough failed in a mid-stage trial, knocking Glenmark shares down more than 17 percent on Wednesday.

The Indian firm had been banking heavily on the drug's success, and its breakdown means it will miss out on a potentially lucrative multi-billion dollar market, analysts said.

The drug was to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a persistent blockage of airways caused by emphysema or chronic bronchitis that affects an estimated 14 million Americans and is the fourth most common cause of death.

"The company had been depending a lot on this molecule. The COPD market is worth about $5 billion, and now that market has been totally wiped out for Glenmark," said Bhawana Verma, an analyst at K.R. Choksey Shares & Securities.   Continua...