Glaxo Drops Development of Prosensa's DMD Treatment

GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) ended its four-year partnership with Prosensa Holding NV (RNA) to develop a Duchenne muscular dystrophy treatment after the therapy failed to help patients walk better in a clinical trial.

Prosensa will regain the rights to the drug, known as drisapersen, and will keep rights to all other development programs related to the neuromuscular disease, the companies said today in separate statements. Prosensa, based in Leiden, Netherlands, has a total of six compounds in development for the illness, including drisapersen and three others in human testing.

Prosensa sold shares in June in an initial public offering at $13 each. The same month, drisapersen garnered breakthrough status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, enabling the companies to speed development. In September, the shares fell 70 percent after the drug failed in a late-stage study. The stock, which is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market, fell 13 percent to $4.88 at 9:32 a.m. in New York.

The companies said they plan to make certain details of the drisapersen studies available to scientists to advance understanding of the disease, which affects about one in 3,500 newborn boys and has no known cure. Sarepta Therapeutics Inc. (SRPT), based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is developing another experimental medicine for the disease called eteplirsen.

Glaxo fell 0.2 percent to 1,594.50 pence at 2:09 p.m. in London, where the company is based.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kristen Hallam in London at khallam@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net

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