Eli Lilly to stop developing schizophrenia drug

INDIANAPOLIS, Wed Aug 29, 2012 – Eli Lilly and Co. said it would stop developing an experimental schizophrenia drug after a recent analysis showed that a late-stage trial on the drug was likely to fail.

An independent futility analysis concluded that the second late-stage study on the drug was unlikely to meet the main goal of the trial, the company said.

The decision to stop development of the drug was not based on any safety concerns. It is expected to result in a third-quarter charge to R&D expense between $25 million and $30 million, or about 2 cents per share.

However, the company said its previously issued 2012 outlook will remain unchanged.

Another mid-stage trial testing the drug — pomaglumetad methionil, or mGlu2/3 — as an adjunctive treatment with atypical antipsychotics, also failed to meet the main study goal.

Lilly will work with study investigators to ensure an appropriate transition of study participants to continuing clinical care outside of the trials.

The company, which raised its 2012 net profit forecast for the second time in early August, has faced two drug-related setback since then.

On August 24, Lilly said while its Alzheimer’s drug showed signs of slowing mental decline in patients with a mild form of the disease, it failed to meet the trial goals.

The company said last Sunday that its Effient heart drug failed to beat the older product Plavix in a head-to-head clinical study.

Lilly shares were down 0.5 percent at $44.50 in premarket trading. They closed at $44.71 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.