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The Associated Press June 1, 2010, 11:45AM ET

Marshall Edwards shares fall on failed study

Shares of Marshall Edwards Inc. fell Tuesday after the company said its potential ovarian cancer treatment failed in a late-stage study.

THE SPARK: Marshall Edwards said its oral version of phenoxodiol did not improve the overall survival rate of women with ovarian cancer. The study was previously closed for recruitment, citing a changes in standards and study criteria. It involved 142 patients out of a planned 340 patients.

THE BIG PICTURE: Marshall Edwards, based in Australia, is a development-stage drug company and does not yet have a product on the market. Phenoxodiol is a key drug candidate and is also under development as a potential prostate cancer treatment.

THE ANALYSIS: "Owing to the fact that this trial was significantly underpowered due to the small number of patients enrolled, we were disappointed, but not entirely surprised by the final outcome," said CEO Dr. Daniel P. Gold, in a statement.

SHARE ACTION: Down $1.97, or 49 percent to $2.03 in midday trading. Shares earlier reached a 52-week low of $1.95.

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