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AstraZeneca, Nektar Opioid Constipation Drug May Have Failed Phase III Study

Nektar held a conference call on Monday morning to trumpet the naloxegol results to investors but refused to answer follow-up questions. Nektar says its contract with AstraZeneca forbids the company from discussing the naloxdegol data with journalists.

AstraZeneca and Nektar are in trouble if only one of the two naloxegol phase III studies was actually successful. FDA and its regulatory counterparts in Europe will not look kindly on an opioid constipation drug with one positive and one negative phase III trial.

Investors didn't buy the naloxegol good-news story that both companies tried to sell Monday. Nektar shares fell 14% to $7.04, partly because the company lacks long-term data to satisfy new concerns FDA has raised about the heart safety of opioid constipation drugs like naloxegol.

But Nektar's stock price also tanked because some investors picked up on the controversy surrounding the bedazzled outcome of the KODIAC-05 study.

Nektar shares are down 4% to $6.76 in Tuesday trading.

-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.
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