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Cornerstone Falls After U.S. Panel Rejects Low-Salt Drug

Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc. fell the most in almost four years after regulatory advisers voted against approval of its experimental drug to treat a lack of salt in blood.

Cornerstone decreased 21 percent to $5.10 at the close in New York, the largest drop since December 2008. The shares have fallen 8.9 percent this year.

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted against two uses of the drug lixivaptan to treat the condition known as hyponatremia. The FDA is scheduled to decide whether to approve the therapy by Oct. 29 and isn’t required to follow the panel’s recommendation.

Cornerstone views today “as another step in the process of bringing lixivaptan to market for patients,” Craig Collard, chief executive officer of the Cary, North Carolina-based company, said in a statement.

Hyponatremia affects as many as 6 million people in the U.S., according to the company. The advisory panel voted 8-0 against using lixivaptan to treat hyponatremia tied to heart failure and 5-3 against using the medicine to treat the disease linked to a syndrome in which the body produces excessive levels of hormones that help the body conserve water.

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