Sobi shares fall 16% as Avatrombopag study fails to meet primary endpoint

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Rare disease drug maker Swedish Orphan Biovitrum (Sobi) said on Friday that its phase 3 study of Avatrombopag had not met its primary endpoint, sending the company’s shares sharply down.

The study had been conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Avatrombopag in solid tumour cancer patients withchemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia (CIT).

Sobi added that Avatrombopag, an oral thrombopoietin receptor agonist, had increased platelet counts relative to placebo as expected.

“While we are disappointed that Avatrombopag failed to show efficacy in CIT, we are deeply grateful to the patients, investigators, and clinical site staff who contributed to the study’s completion,” Sobi said in a statement.

Jefferies said on Sept. 30 that the data announced on Friday would be a “key event” for the firm.

“Our recent expert call points to likelihood of Ph3 success,” the investment bank had said in its note.

Sobi shares were down 16% at 1349 GMT.

The rival to Roche, Novo Nordisk and Shire is due to release its third-quarter report on Oct. 22.

Reporting by Helena Soderpalm; Editing by Simon Johnson