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Aptinyx stock dives as pain drug fails to perform better than placebo

Aptinyx Inc. lost more than half of its market value after its drug NYX-2925 failed to perform better than placebo in reducing pain in patients with nerve damage in a mid-stage study.

The company's stock was down 71.20% to $5.14 per share as of 10:28 a.m. ET on Jan. 16, 2019.

The four-week phase 2 clinical study evaluated three different dosages of NYX-2925 — 10 milligrams, 50 milligrams or 200 milligrams — against placebo in 300 patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, the most common complication of diabetes. The condition causes nerve damage and leads to numbness; loss of sensation; and pain in the feet, legs or hands.

While neither of the dosages was statistically superior to placebo, the company did note that the 50-milligram and 200-milligram versions of NYX-2925 had the most benefit in patients. Data from the study also suggested that the 50-milligram version of the medicine could be beneficial over a longer period of time, and Aptinyx President and CEO Norbert Riedel said the company would review the full results from the trial to determine the most appropriate path forward for NYX-2925 as a treatment of pain.

The Evanston, Ill.-based biotechnology company is also conducting a phase 2 trial of NYX-2925 in patients with fibromyalgia, a condition that causes pain all over the body. Complete results from the study are expected during the first half of 2019.

Aptinyx's pipeline also includes NYX-783 for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and NYX-458 for the treatment of Parkinson's disease cognitive impairment, and the company said it has enough funds to advance the medicines in 2019 and 2020.