Dermira to abandon acne drug, shares crater


By Reuters Staff

(Reuters) - Dermira Inc will discontinue development of its acne drug after the treatment failed to meet the main goals of two late-stage studies, the company said on Monday.

Dermira's shares plunged 72 percent in premarket trading. The stock was the most actively traded among Nasdaq-listed companies.

The drug, olumacostat glasaretil, did not show statistically significant effect in treating patients aged nine and older with moderate to severe acne in both the studies.

"This outcome is highly surprising given that two prior Phase II trials were positive and consistent," Mizuho analyst Irina Koffler wrote in a client note, adding that there was nothing "salvageable" in the data.

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Other companies that are developing acne treatments include Novan Inc and Foamix Inc.

Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc abandoned its acne drug last year after its treatment failed to meet the main goal in a mid-stage study.

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