(Reuters) – Stealth BioTherapeutics Corp’s shares crashed on Friday after its lead neuromuscular disorder drug candidate failed to help patients walk better and reduce fatigue, a major setback to the company’s wide mitochondrial diseases pipeline.
The drug, Elamipretide, co-developed with Alexion Pharmaceuticals, was being tested to treat primary mitochondrial myopathy (PMM). (http://bit.ly/35FGzTW)
There are currently no approved treatments for PMM, which affects about 1 in 5,000 people in the United States.
“This was an unanticipated and discouraging result following our early and mid stage trials in this indication,” said the company. (https://reut.rs/3918ob9)
Shares of the company fell 61% to $4.61 in early trade, touching a record low since listing in February, while shares of Alexion were down 2.13%.
Mitochondrial myopathy is a group of neuromuscular diseases caused by damage to the mitochondria, which are energy-producing structures in cells that serve as power plants.
Elamipretide is also being tested by Stealth Bio for other mitochondrial diseases including Barth syndrome, Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy and age-related macular degeneration.
The company plans to review its operational resources to further its pipeline program. It had $37.2 million cash as of Sept. 20.
(Reporting by Trisha Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Vinay Dwivedi and Shinjini Ganguli)