December 8, 2014 / 8:08 AM / 3 years ago

Circassia allergy drug misses target in clinical test

LONDON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Circassia, the British allergy specialist that launched a record public offering in March, reported clinical trial results for its ragweed pollen hayfever drug that fell short of hoped-for efficacy on Monday.

Although the mid-stage Phase IIb clinical study results for its immunotherapy treatment showed a trend towards efficacy, the findings failed to hit statistical significance.

The company said in a statement that there was a "marked" response among patients receiving a placebo, or a dummy drug, in the study, which made it hard to prove the benefit of the active treatment.

Chief Executive Steve Harris added there were higher doses of the treatment that could be explored, which might produce a stronger effect.

Paul Cuddon, an analyst at Peel Hunt who rates the stock a "buy", said ragweed was always Circassia's riskiest product and he estimated the drug represented 6 percent of the company's risk-adjusted value.

Circassia is also developed allergy treatments against dust mites, grass pollen and cats. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler, editing by Louise Heavens)

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