• Drug flops in trial for treatment of major depression
  • Richter, Allergan remain committed to developing drug

Shares in Hungarian pharmaceutical company Gedeon Richter Nyrt. dropped after reporting disappointing results in a clinical trial of its Cariprazine drug.

The results showed that flexible doses of cariprazine didn’t separate significantly from a placebo as an add-on treatment in adults with major depressive disorder, Richter and partner Allergan Plc said in a joint statement on Friday. The drug has already been introduced in the U.S. after approval for the treatment of bipolar mania and schizophrenia last year.

"We are disappointed with the results of this trial," the statement said. The companies are committed to move forward with another Phase 3 study, it said.

Richter shares dropped 3 percent to 5,738 forint by 10:06 a.m. in Budapest, shaving this year’s advance to 4.2 percent.

"We must take into consideration that this was a test for one of the indications only,"  Monika Kiss, head of research at Budapest-based brokerage Equilor Zrt. said in an e-mail. "As the companies themselves stressed it’s not uncommon that clinical trials fail to show a separation from placebo even with effective drugs. We nevertheless expect a negative market reaction."

Richter, which sold the marketing rights of Cariprazine for western Europe to Italy’s Recordati SpA, has said it expects the drug to have a material impact on its revenue from 2018 onward.

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