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November 11, 2013
Another Pain Drug Wipes Out
Pain has been a horrendous therapeutic area for drug discovery. That might be because there are a number of very old compounds (opiates, etc.) that most certainly can knock down many kinds of pain, but at the cost of many undesirable side effects. Trying to (1) find drugs without those problems and (2) find drugs that treat other kinds of pain has been nightmarish.
Add another company to the list of blowups in this field. Zalicus (formerly CombinatoRx, which had its own problems) has announced today that two Phase II trials have completely come up empty for them. Z160 was a calcium channel blocker, and it does not work. Coming on the heels of a big clinical failure last year for them, the company's stock is getting driven down into the ground, and that's after a recent 1-for-6 reverse split they did to keep the company listed.
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