UPDATE 2-Inspire Pharma eye drug fails in late-stage trial

jueves 21 de enero de 2010 17:47 CET

* Says drug did not meet main goal

* Leerink Swann, Wedbush Morgan maintain ratings on stock

* Inspire shares fall as much as 20 pct (Adds analyst comment, updates stock movement)

By Krishnakali Sengupta

BANGALORE, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Inspire Pharmaceuticals Inc ISPH.O said its experimental drug, Prolacria, for the treatment of dry eye disease failed to meet the main goal in a late-stage trial, sending the company's shares down as much as 20 percent.

Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Liana Moussatos, who was expecting the drug to fail in the late-stage trial based on mixed clinical data in the past, thinks the Prolacria program is "dead".

The drug, which has already gone through four previous late-stage trials, was being studied in the latest trial under a special protocol assessment agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The next catalyst for the stock will be the mid-stage trial results of Inspire's drug AzaSite to treat blepharitis, or inflammation of the eyelid margin, in the second quarter, Moussatos said.

With the Prolacria data out of the way, Leerink Swann analyst Joseph Schwartz sees a number catalysts that could drive the stock higher later in the year, including a possible European partnership for the company's experimental late-stage cystic fibrosis drug, denufosol.   Continuación...