ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Novartis on Monday said it is jettisoning what it had hoped would be a billion-dollar-selling asthma drug, fevipiprant, from its development program after the medicine failed another set of key trials.
The drug’s star fell in October when the Basel-based company announced it had failed a pair of trials in moderate asthmatic patients.
Now, fevipiprant has flopped in two additional studies in moderate-to-severe patients, spelling the end to its development for asthma.
Novartis chief drug developer John Tsai had continued to hold out hope that the trial failures in moderate patients were a fluke and that the drug would be more effective in patients hit harder by the respiratory disorder.
Instead, fevipiprant failed to reduce exacerbations — an acute episode of symptoms growing worse — compared to a placebo over a 52-week treatment period for either the 150 mg or 450 mg dose of the drug.
“The totality of these results do not support…
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