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Anthera Pharmaceuticals shares tank as firm halts work on lead drug after disappointing clinical study

Craig Thompson, Anthera president and CEO, said the company was "greatly disappointed by the findings" of the Phase 3 study
drug researcher in laboratory
Anthera said it now plans to "evaluate all strategic alternatives" to maximise shareholder value

Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ANTH) lost four-fifths of its value after the company said it is suspending further development of its lead product Sollpura because it failed to achieve the desired results in a Phase 3 clinical study intended to evaluate its performance against approved pancreatic enzyme replacement therapies for patients with cystic fibrosis.

In morning trading on Monday, Anthera shares were down over 81% at 48 US cents a share.

The Phase 3 study was initiated in the second quarter of 2017. Anthera said it now plans to "evaluate all strategic alternatives" to maximise shareholder value in light of the study's outcome.

Anthera has described Sollpura as "the first soluble, stable and non-pig derived pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT), offering a potential novel solution to patients, especially young children and adults who are either unable to swallow multiple pills or are forced to use gastric tubes in order to maintain appropriate nutritional health."

Craig Thompson, Anthera president and CEO, said the company was "greatly disappointed by the findings" of the Phase 3 study.

"We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the patients and their families, study investigators, and the cystic fibrosis community for the support they have provided in the clinical development of Sollpura," Thompson said.

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