Anthera Stops Trial of Heart Drug Due to Lack of Effectiveness

Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc. said it stopped a late-stage trial evaluating its experimental treatment for heart disease because it didn’t work. Shares plummeted as much as 65 percent in late trading.

The company has closed enrollment in the study and told investigators to immediately remove patients from the therapy, Anthera said today in a statement. The study was in the third and final stage of clinical testing generally needed for regulatory approval.

Shares of the Hayward, California-based company fell to $2.25 in extended trading after Anthera announced the news in a statement.

“This new information was totally unexpected and disappointing given the potential benefits of this drug,” Stephen Nicholls, chairman of the executive committee overseeing the trial, said in the statement.

Anthera, which first sold shares to the public two years ago, has no sales or profits. The stock had gained 4.6 percent this year before trading was halted earlier today.

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