Shares of central Indiana pharmaceutical firm Endocyte Inc. skidded 15 percent Wednesday morning after industry giant Merck & Co. Inc. gave up on developing Endocyte cancer drug vintafolide.
On Tuesday, West-Lafayette-based Endocyte said it had regained worldwide rights to vintafolide from Merck. The move essentially meant Endocyte lost Merck’s financial backing and sales muscle for the drug.
The treatment failed a key study last month, leading to a 62-percent single-day drop in Endocyte's share price on May 2. Shares finished the day near $6.65.
Endocyte and Merck announced May 19 that they were terminating a clinical trial of the drug, after an analysis showed vintafolide didn’t demonstrate efficacy when treating patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.
Endocyte said Tuesday it will continue to test vintafolide for lung cancer.
Shares of Endocyte traded at $6.55 at mid-morning Wednesday.