Circassia shares tank as cat allergy drug fails to beat placebo effectComments Off on Circassia shares tank as cat allergy drug fails to beat placebo effect
Investors have suffered a bad reaction to Circassia, the pharma firm behind a highly-anticipated cat allergy treatment, with its shares slumping 62% after trials showed a placebo worked just as well.
Circassia had claimed its vaccine had a large market, with 24 million Americans alone allergic to cats.
So the shares tanked 169.2p to 101.2p when it admitted late-stage trials showed a placebo “greatly, and equally, reduced subjects’ symptoms”.
It was that potential vaccine that helped Circassia become the UK’s largest biotech market listing in more than a decade in 2014 and raise a further £275 million last year.
But chief executive Steve Harris said Circassia would have to “address the implications” for its other projects, admitting it had pulled the plug on a hay fever treatment and a ragweed allergy medicine.
Imperial Innovations, with a 9.3% stake in Circassia, was also injured by the news: its shares fell 7% to 403.9p. Imperial backer Neil Woodford also lost out.
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