Johnson & Johnson
said Wednesday that it was abandoning efforts to test its epilepsy and migraine drug Topamax as a treatment for obesity and diabetes.
The company had been conducting clinical tests of a controlled-release version of the drug "to potentially simplify dosing and enhance the compound's profile" to treat obese people, J&J said.
"Data from a recently completed phase II clinical study with the controlled release formulation of
Topamax showed that the controlled release formulation did not provide significant advantages in this population compared to previously conducted studies using the immediate release formulation," J&J said. Phase II is the second of three rounds of clinical trials that companies conduct before submitting drug applications to regulators.
The company added that its decision isn't based on any new safety data and doesn't affect the drug's current uses or other research involving Topamax.
The drug is marketed in 95 countries for epileptic seizures and in 28 countries for treating migraines.
The announcement sent the company's shares down 57 cents, or 1%, to $59.75 in premarket trading.