Proteon Therapeutics kidney drug fails key study, shares slump



Proteon Therapeutics Inc said on Tuesday that its experimental chronic kidney disease drug failed to meet the main goal in a late-stage study, sending its shares plunging 70 percent in premarket trading.


The drug, vonapanitase, was being tested against a placebo in patients on or expecting to undergo dialysis after surgical creation of a radiocephalic arteriovenous fistula.


The study is designed to evaluate whether a single 30 micrograms dose of vonapanitase can improve the period of time during which a fistula remains open with adequate blood flow to enable dialysis, Proteon said.


Surgical intervention is necessary to create the fistula, typically in the wrist, to facilitate a direct connection between an artery and a vein. The vein enlarges over a period of time because arterial blood is now flowing through the vein at a higher pressure.


When dialysis is required, needles are inserted into the vein and connected to a dialysis machine. Patients with a fistula have a better chance of surviving renal failure.


Blood vessel blockages in a patient’s fistula are a leading cause of corrective procedures and death.


Data from secondary and tertiary goals is encouraging, the company said. The company is testing the treatment in another late-stage study, which is currently ongoing.


Vonapanitase is also being evaluated for use in peripheral artery disease.


The company shares were down nearly 70 percent at $3 in premarket trading.



(Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Sriraj Kalluvila)


Source: Reuters Health