InflaRx shares fall on drug’s failure to help debilitating skin disease

Shares of the German drug maker InflaRx (IFRX) fell sharply Wednesday after its lead drug failed to benefit patients with a debilitating skin disease in a clinical trial.

In the Phase 2 clinical trial, InflaRx tested four escalating doses of its injectable antibody drug called IFX-1 against a placebo in 179 patients with hidradenitis suppurativa, a painful skin disease characterized by inflamed hair follicles, mostly found in the armpits and groin. Involvement of the sweat glands within the follicles causes painful, pus-filled boils, nodules, and abscesses.

After 16 weeks of treatment, there was no statistically significant improvement in skin responses between any of the IFX-1 doses and the placebo, the company said.

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The negative outcome sent InflaRx’s stock price down 89% to $3.83 in Tuesday trading.

“We are disappointed that we were not able to demonstrate a significant signal on dose response for the treatment with IFX-1,” said Othmar Zenker, InflaRx chief medical officer, in a statement. “While we are still analyzing additional data, we note that the trial demonstrated an unusually high placebo HiSCR rate at week 16.”

The bad end to the IFX-1 story in hidradenitis suppurativa did not surprise some investors who raise doubts about the drug’s chances — and were short InflaRx’s stock — based on problematic data collected by the company from a previous clinical trial. STAT previously reported on the Wall Street debate over the fate of IFX-1.

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