Affymax Tanks on Anemia Results

6/21/10

Affymax (NASDAQ: AFFY), the Palo Alto, CA-based developer of an experimental anemia drug, released some bad news today from clinical trials conducted with partner, Takeda Pharmaceuticals. While four pivotal studies of a combined 2,609 patients showed that peginesatide (Hematide) wasn’t inferior to competing products from Amgen in terms of boosting hemoglobin to carry oxygen in the blood, researchers did see a higher combined rate of adverse cardiac events like heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and death in a group of patients on the new drug. The cardiac effect was seen among anemia patients who aren’t on kidney dialysis, a potentially huge market for any anemia drug. Shares of Affymax plunged 65 percent to $8.06 by 9:15 am Eastern in pre-market trading.

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