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Santhera Plunges on European Eye Drug Rejection: Zurich Mover

Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Santhera Pharmaceuticals Holding AG, the Swiss developer of an experimental treatment for a rare inherited eye disease, fell to a record low after European regulators recommended against approving the drug.

Santhera plunged 22 percent to 3.75 Swiss francs in Zurich, the lowest since the company went public in November 2006. That left the company with a market value of 13.8 million francs ($14.8 million).

A “narrow majority” of the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use decided Santhera’s Raxone was “not approvable at this time,” Liestal, Switzerland-based Santhera said in a statement today. The company has requested a re-examination of the decision, it said.

Members of the committee expressed concern about the reliability of results from a trial of the drug because of the small number of patients studied, Santhera said.

The company had sought approval for Raxone as a treatment for Leber’s Hereditoar Optic Neuropathy, a genetically inherited disease that causes blindness, mostly in men.

More than 172,000 shares were traded, more than 16 times the three-month daily average.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simeon Bennett in Geneva at sbennett9@bloomberg.net

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

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