This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Ampio Spins A Tale of Curing Blindness

Stocks in this article: AMPE NVS REGN RHHBY

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Col. ( TheStreet) -- Ampio Pharmaceuticals (AMPE) announced Monday "positive clinical trial results" from a study of a low-dose generic steroid in diabetic macular edema that looks much more like a failure.

The study in question enrolled 32 patients with diabetic macular edema (DME), or swelling of the central portion of the retina caused by damaged and leaky blood vessels. DME can occur in patients with diabetes, and if untreated, can lead to blindness.

Ampio treated the 32 DME patients with one of three oral doses of Optina, a low-dose reformulation of the generic steroid danazol, or a placebo. Ampio claims low doses of danazol can reverse inflammation thereby making blood vessels less leaky. To test this theory, the Optina study's primary endpoint was the reduction of macular edema after four and 12 weeks of treatment, assessed using a device that measures the thickness of the retina.

The Optina study failed. No statistically significant difference in retinal thickness was measured between patients treated with any three of the Optina doses compared to a placebo. The only glimmer of optimism came from the lowest dose of Optina showing a trend towards reduced retinal thickness over placebo; that result, however, was not statistically significant, Ampio said.

The highest dose of Optina tested in the study didn't produce a benefit for DME patients, according to an Ampio statement issued in March. On Monday, Ampio said nothing about the performance of mid- and high-dose Optina dose groups, but Vaughan Clift, Ampio's chief regulatory officer, told me in a phone call Monday that no significant benefit in either the middle or high-dose Optina patients was observed in the study.

Yet Clift strongly disagreed with any suggestion that the Optina study was a failure. He insisted that not only was the study an absolute success, but the data show Optina to be "the most exciting development in diabetic eye care in the last 30 years… We can stop blindness."


True, if you believe in Ampio's spin, er… I mean… interpretation of data reportedly demonstrating Optina can reduce retinal thickening as long as the dose is aligned correctly with the body mass index (BMI) of the patient.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs