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Realm Therapeutics shares plunge as skin disease drug fails in mid-stage study

U.K.-based Realm Therapeutics Plc lost a little over half of its market value after it reported that its drug PR022 failed to meet the main goal of a mid-stage study.

The company, whose stocks were down 50.20% to 19.92 pence per share as of 2:12 p.m. British standard time, said its medicine showed no difference from placebo in treating eczema, a skin condition that causes redness, itchiness and may be accompanied by asthma and hay fever.

Eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis.

The drug was being studied in a phase 2 clinical trial of 122 patients. The company plans to analyze and review the data and will provide an update of future plans for the therapy in September.

"We are conducting a full review to determine whether there is a path forward for our proprietary technology in atopic dermatitis, and to evaluate the implications for our acne and psoriasis programs," Realm Therapeutics CEO Alex Martin said in a statement.

The company also planned to investigate PR022 as a treatment for psoriasis. Meanwhile, it has another drug called RLM023 that was going to be studied as a treatment for acne, according to Realm Therapeutics' website.