Why Pharmaxis is down 45%

Shares of pharmaceutical and biotech company Pharmaxis (ASX: PXS) are down nearly 50% today — and down nearly 87% year…

Shares of pharmaceutical and biotech company Pharmaxis (ASX: PXS) are down nearly 50% today — and down nearly 87% year to date, compared to a near 10% rise in the S&P/ASX 200 index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO). What’s behind this jaw-dropping plunge?

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It seems the drop is down to disappointing results from a late-stage trial of the company’s Bronchitol drug. As The Australian has reported, “Pharmaxis said its Phase III clinical trial of Bronchitol, also referred to as B305, had not shown a significant difference in the rates of pulmonary exacerbations (worsening lung function) in patients treated over a 12-month period.”

Shares were halted following the company’s receiving the news this past Monday, delaying the ugly result until today, when trading resumed.

Chief executive of Pharmaxis Gary Phillips has said that “It is disappointing not to have achieved the primary endpoint in this trial… We will, therefore, not be proceeding immediately with a regulatory submission for bronchiectasis.”

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