The Medicines Company halts two late-stage trials of antiplatelet agent; shares plunge

Shares in The Medicines Company fell as much as 45 percent on Wednesday after the drugmaker reported that it was discontinuing two Phase III trials of the antiplatelet agent cangrelor in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. An interim analysis review committee recommended that enrollment in both studies be stopped because data indicated that efficacy endpoints would not be reached.

One of the studies compared cangrelor plus standard care to standard care alone, and data showed that the trial "would not meet the goal of demonstrating persuasive evidence of clinical effectiveness that could form the basis for regulatory approval," The Medicines Company noted. The second trial was comparing cangrelor to Bristol-Myers Squibb's and sanofi-aventis' Plavix (clopidogrel), and the drugmaker said that findings from the interim analysis demonstrated "no significant differences in measures of clinical effectiveness."

The interim analysis review committee recommended that the drugmaker consider focusing on short-term use of cangrelor, an intravenous drug, "in settings where oral drugs cannot be used or when a short half-life is highly desirable." The Medicines Company indicated that it had already started a study in this setting, and is planning to enroll 200 patients.

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