ChemoCentryx Falls on Weak Diabetic Nephropathy Drug Data

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- An experimental ChemoCentryx ( CCXI) drug designed to treat kidney damage caused by diabetes doesn't appear to be working very well, according to an interim analysis of an mid-stage study announced Tuesday.

ChemoCentryx intends to continue the diabetic nephropathy drug study until final data are available in the second half of next year, but doubts about its success caused the company's stock to shed 19% to $6.66 in Tuesday trading.

Late last month, a different ChemoCentryx drug failed a phase III study in Crohn's disease.

ChemoCentryx is conducting a 52-week study of two different doses of CCX140 compared to a placebo in patients with diabetic nephropathy. The interim analysis disclosed Tuesday examined efficacy and safety after 12 weeks of dosing. During an August conference call with investors, ChemoCentryx said a reduction in proteinuria (protein levels in the kidneys) of 20% or more would define success for CCX140 in the interim analysis.

CCX140 was unable to hit that 20% proteinuria reduction target.

After 12 weeks of treatment, patients on the 5 mg dose of CCX140 showed a 21% reduction in proteinuria compared to a 12% reduction for patients on placebo. The difference was not statistically significant.

A higher 10 mg dose of CCX140 performed worse than placebo, demonstrating a 9% reduction in proteinuria after 12 weeks, according to ChemoCentryx.

ChemoCentryx said certain subsets of patients -- defined before the study began -- did show reductions in proteinuria greater than 30% following treatment with CCX140 compared to placebo.

These data "support the continued progress of full 52 weeks of dosing in the phase II trial as planned," the company said, in a statement.

-- 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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