The biopharmaceutical company said results from two Phase II clinical studies showed Z160 failed to demonstrate a benefit over placebo for patients suffering lower back pain or shingles-related pain. No negative side effects were reported.
"Despite its promising preclinical profile, Z160 was unable to translate those results into clinical efficacy," said Zalicus CEO Mark Corrigan in a statement.
The Cambridge, Mass.-based business will discontinue its Z160 program and reallocate resources to focus on getting Z944, an oral non-opioid painkiller, to Phase II stage by next year. Research into non-opioid medicines has become more important as an alternative to potentially-addictive drugs such as morphine and oxycodone.
By late morning, the stock had crashed 70.4% to $1.39.
--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff.