Minerva Neurosciences Shelves Depression Drug Study After Failed Mid-Stage Trial

Testifying to the tough development pathway for central nervous disorder drugs, another biotech announced a failed study of its experimental drug to treat major depressive disorder, or MDD, and also said it's shelving the clinical program, sending shares s

Benzinga · 12/19/2019 14:35

Testifying to the tough development pathway for central nervous disorder drugs, another biotech announced a failed study of its experimental drug to treat major depressive disorder, or MDD, and also said it's shelving the clinical program, sending shares sharply lower.

Minerva Neurosciences Inc (NASDAQ: NERV) said the Phase 2b study that evaluated MIN-117 in adult patients with moderate to severe major depressive disorder, or MDD, failed to meet its primary and key secondary endpoints.

The company said neither of the dose tested in the trial showed a statistically significant separation from placebo on the reduction in the symptoms of MDD – the primary endpoint, over the six-week period.

Neither dose showed a statistically significant separation from placebo on the key secondary endpoint of reduction of symptoms of anxiety.

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The company said it has no plans for further clinical development of the molecule in MDD.

"We are obviously disappointed with the results despite the trial having been very well executed," said Dr. Remy Luthringer, CEO of Minerva.

Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN) and SAGE Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: SAGE) had faced setbacks this year with their depression drugs rapastinel and SAGE-217, respectively, both in the indication MDD.

Minerva's stock was tumbling 22.35% to $5.35 per share at time of publication.