Vectura shares plunge on asthma drug failure

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Vectura shares plunge on asthma drug failure
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Shares in Vectura Group (LON:VEC) plunged by 13.2% to 67.31p (as of 11:00 GMT) after the pharma company announced that its phase III study of asthma drug VR475 in adult and adolescent patients with severe uncontrolled asthma did not meet its primary endpoint. While the results showed a trend in the reduction of the annualised rate of clinically significant exacerbations among patients receiving VR475 compared to a placebo, these were not statistical significant.

As a result, Vectura has decided to not pursue further the development and partnering of VR475.  The company will complete the full analysis of the primary and secondary data and intends to present the complete study results at an upcoming medical conference and seek to have the data published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Also following the results of the study, an intangible asset recognised on the balance sheet for the VR475 programme will be fully impaired, resulting in a £40 million negative impact on loss before tax for 2018 and on the loss after tax of £29 million. For 2019, Vectura expects the net impact to EBITDA of revenue and R&D cost movements to be broadly neutral as a result of the decision to cease development of the drug.

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