shares plunged Monday after the company said recent late-stage trials of its cancer drug failed to meet goals.
No statistically significant differences in survival rate were found in trials comparing the use of its drug Targretin in addition to chemotherapy and chemotherapy alone for the treatment of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer. Targretin is currently used to treat cancers of the skin, blood and lymph nodes.
"We are very disappointed in the lack of survival advantage," says Dr. Andres Negro-Vilar, Ligand's chief scientific officer, "particularly in view of the consistent positive trends seen in several phase I/II studies and in the preclinical data that provided strong mechanistic support for a potentially beneficial Targretin/chemotherapy combination."
Ligand will continue to analyze the data, and it plans to make a detailed scientific presentation at the upcoming scientific conferences.
Ligand plans to continue to analyze data from the trials and focus on drugs currently on the market: the skin cancer treatment ONTAK, and Avinza, an extended-release morphine pill. These are the principal drivers of the company's growth.
Shares fell $1.61, or 19.6%, to $6.62. Two weeks ago, Ligand shares fell 13% when the company announced a delay in filing its 10-K and the
issued a delisting warning.