Bioline Pulled Drug Trial, Stock Tumbled 50% Wednesday

Anti-psychotic drug under development proved no better than the standard schizophrenia medication.

Shares of Bioline tumbled 50% on Wednesday after the Israeli biomed company said it is halting Phase Israeli clinical trials of an anti-psychotic drug.

Bioline has been developing BL-1020 as an oral anti-psychotic drug for schizophrenia patients.

The company, headed by CEO Dr Kinneret Savitsky, decided to stop the clinical trial in consultation with an independent external panel after analysis of interim results showed that the drug was not meeting its chief goal, namely the improvement of cognitive functioning.

The analysis showed that BL-1020 was not more efficacious than standard drug used, Risperidone.

In halting these trials Bioline expects a drop of $6-7 million in its R&D expenses in 2013-2014. It forecasts that the remaining $28 million in its coffers will suffice for completion of its development plans until 2015.

In the coming 12-18 months, the company is expected to face several stumbling blocks in the clinical applications of several other products currently in its pipeline.

Bloomberg