Allergy Immunotherapy Knocked Out in Phase III by an ‘Overperforming Placebo’

21/06/2016 - 3 minutes

Circassia’s pipeline takes a major step back as its therapy for cat allergy gets disappointing results — it had the same effect as the placebo. Stocks promptly sank by 65%.

The Oxford-based Circassia has been a major European player in the field of allergy immunotherapies. It made a splash when it raised €267.7M in the London Stock Exchange in the biggest biotech IPO in 2014.

One of the main reasons for its high profile was its flagship program, ToleroMune. These immunotherapies are based on synthetic peptide immuno-regulatory epitope class of the therapies (SPIREs), first-in-class compounds designed to induce allergen tolerance with a short treatment.

This prominent part of Circassia’s pipeline seemed to be going rather well. The leading program to treat cat allergy was in Phase III. Circassia was just starting another Phase III trial for grass allergies, and it had two Phase II trials for ragweed and house mite dust allergies.

This blue sky scenario has now ended with the topline results of the study for cat allergy,

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