Bloomberg News

Depomed Sinks Most in 2 Years as Serada Misses Study Goal

October 14, 2011

(Updates shares in first and second paragraphs.)

Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Depomed Inc., the maker of an experimental drug to treat menopausal hot flashes, fell the most in two years after saying the medicine failed to meet one of four objectives in a late-stage study.

Depomed dropped 21 percent to $4.94 as of 4 p.m. New York time for the biggest decline since Oct. 12, 2009. The shares are down 22 percent this year.

The treatment, Serada, was effective for three of the four primary endpoints evaluating the frequency and severity of hot flashes at four and 12 weeks of treatment, Menlo Park, California-based Depomed said in a statement yesterday. The company will review the results of the Phase 3 clinical trial, the last of three phases generally required for U.S. marketing clearance from the Food and Drug Administration.

Serada “had already failed in two previous Phase 3 trials,” said Difei Yang, an analyst with Auriga USA LLC in New York, in a telephone interview. “They made a number of changes for this third try, and they came close, but they didn’t quite hit it.”

The data from the study is sufficient to discuss with the FDA a way to move forward, Chief Executive Officer Jim Schoeneck said in the statement.

Yang recommends buying Depomed shares, and lowered her price target to $7 from $10. She doesn’t own the stock.

--Editors: Bruce Rule, Reg Gale

To contact the reporter on this story: Meg Tirrell in New York at mtirrell@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net DEPO US <Equity> CN


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