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Zafgen tumbles after the Boston biotech scraps its Prader-Willi syndrome drug

Zafgen's Chief Medical Officer Dr Dennis Kim has also resigned
scientist in a lab
Preclinical data suggests the drug ZGN-1258 caused muscle degeneration and other anomalies in rat muscle tissue

Shares of Zafgen (NASDAQ:ZFGN) plunged Tuesday after the biotech scrapped plans to develop its drug ZGN-1258 as a treatment for Prader-Willi syndrome.

Zafgen pulled its investigational new drug (IND) application for the drug after preclinical data suggested it caused muscle degeneration and other anomalies in rat muscle tissue as part of four and six-month-long toxicology studies.

In other news, Zafgen also disclosed this week that its chief medical officer Dr Dennis Kim has resigned.

READ: Akebia surges after positive results in Phase 3 studies of kidney disease-related anemia

Investors reacted poorly, sending Zafgen shares down 35.5% to $2.96 in afternoon trade Tuesday.

Zafgen has come up short in its quest to fight metabolic diseases like Prader-Willi Syndrome and Type 2 diabetes, by blocking the MetAP2 enzyme.

Last year, the FDA introduced a clinical hold on Zafgen’s IND application for ZGN-1061, an MetAP2 inhibitor and its lead drug to treat type 2 diabetes due to concerns about possible cardiovascular risk.

Boston-based Zafgen had been looking to manufacture ZGN-1258 as treatment for Prader-Willi syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes behavioral difficulties, obesity, intellectual disability and shortness.

Contact Ellen Kelleher at [email protected]

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