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Sienna Biopharmaceuticals shares fall after acne drug fails in 2 trials

Sienna Biopharmaceuticals Inc. said its experimental SNA-001 drug, together with laser treatments, failed to significantly reduce inflammatory acne lesions in two trials.

The Westlake Village, Calif.-based company evaluated a topical application SNA-001, together with laser therapy, in two trials involving patients aged 12 years and above with moderate to severe acne vulgaris, a common chronic skin disease that occurs when dead skin cells or oil from skin clog the hair follicles.

At 12 weeks of treatment, the SNA-001 plus laser therapy combination reduced acne lesion count by 37.4%, which did not represent a significant difference from the 36.5% for laser therapy together with other topical acne treatments.

In the other trial, the drug-laser treatment demonstrated a 38.7% reduction in inflammatory lesion count compared to 41.9% for the other topical acne-laser therapy combination treatment.

There was also no additional benefit from the drug, the company noted.

The company's shares were down 6.94% to $14.61 as of 10:38 a.m. ET.

Earlier this year, Dermira Inc. reported that its experimental treatment for moderate-to-severe acne vulgaris, also failed in two late-stage trials.

"Acne is a complex, multi-factorial disease affecting most people at some point in their lives," said Frederick C. Beddingfield III, president and CEO of Sienna Biopharmaceuticals. "Researchers have long recognized the challenges to achieving clinically meaningful outcomes in acne."

The company will report the results of a third trial evaluating SNA-001 in conjunction with another laser therapy in the fourth quarter.

In addition, Sienna Biopharmaceuticals is expected to report the results of three trials investigating SNA-001 for the reduction of unwanted light-pigmented hair in the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019.