Zalicus Cancels Lead Candidate Synavive After Poor Interim Data

Shares of Zalicus Inc. (NASDAQ:ZLCS) sunk 40% before the open Monday morning after the company announced it would be discontinuing development of its Rheumatoid Arthritis treatment Synavive. In a Phase 2b trial, Synavive met its primary endpoint of showing a statistical improvement in measurable efficacy, however, it failed to demonstrate enough clinical benefit over its active glucocorticoid component, prednisolone, to warrant continuation. Zalicus says the company is switching gears to focus on its pain therapies, Z160 and Z944, which are entering Phase 2a and finishing Phase 1 trials respectively. Investors are stepping back today to analyze the rest of Zalicus’ pipeline, as Synavive was the company’s most advanced candidate.

This is the second development setback from the biotech industry on Monday, following Geron Corporation’s (NASDAQ:GERN) discontinuation of an Imetelstat breast cancer trial – you can read that story here.