Shares in Dublin-based biotech Prothena plunge as flagship drug fails clinical trial
Shares in Dublin-based Prothena have plunged 70pc after its main drug failed in a crucial clinical trial.
The biotech, which was spun out of Irish drugmaker Elan in 2012, specialises in developing immune system-based drugs to fight progressive diseases.
Its flagship product, NEOD001, is an antibody drug for a rare disease called AL amyloidosis, a condition caused by a build-up of an abnormal protein called amyloid,
There is currently no cure for the disease, which impairs proper tissue function and can lead to heart, kidney and other organ failure.
NEOD001 had been granted orphan drug designation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
As a result of failing the test, Prothena is now discontinuing development of the antibody-based medicine for the condition.
British investor Neil Woodford, who backs the Nasdaq-listed firm, said the trial result was "undoubtedly a blow" but insisted Prothena had options.
"Prothena still has an early and mid-stage clinical pipeline. It has a technology platform and a world-leading specialism in misfolding proteins, which are implicated in a number of different neurological disorders," he said.