Cytokinetics Shares Fall as Lou Gehrig’s Drug Fails

Cytokinetics (CYTK) Inc. tumbled by as much as 58 percent after its experimental treatment for Lou Gehrig’s disease didn’t meet its goal in a study, the company’s second drug to fail a trial in seven months.

Cytokinetics, with no marketed products, fell to $5.40 at 9:36 a.m. New York time, after the stock had doubled in the 12 months through yesterday.

The compound, called tirasemtiv, failed to show it helped patients with Lou Gehrig’s, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more than a placebo in a mid-stage study, the South San Francisco, California-based company said in a statement today. In September, Cytokinetics reported that its experimental therapy for acute heart failure failed to help people breathe more easily in a clinical trial.

“It’s pretty negative news,” said Chad Messer, an analyst with Needham & Co Inc., in a telephone interview from New York. “People are going to sell and run away, they’re going to consider it dead money for a while. I think there’s a fair amount of value left in the company.”

Messer said the company’s heart disease drug may show more positive trial results by year’s end.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sonali Basak in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Reg Gale at Bruce Rule

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