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.
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.