Neose drug trial faces a delay The Horsham firm's German partner advised that financing and development help was needed.

Posted: September 23, 2006

Shares of Neose Technologies Inc. fell yesterday after the Horsham company said an early stage human trial for its drug to treat a side effect of chemotherapy may be delayed.

Neose said its partner, Germany-based BioGeneriX AG, has advised Neose that the start of a Phase 1 clinical trial could be delayed unless it secured a financing and development partner.

Neose and BioGeneriX are developing the compound, GlycoPEG-GCSF, to treat neutropenia, a severe reduction in white blood cells caused by cancer chemotherapy. Patients with neutropenia risk serious infection.

Under their contract, BioGeneriX is responsible for all clinical development costs. Neose is responsible to provide the drug's ingredients. BioGeneriX has filed for regulatory approval in Europe.

Neose said the companies' agreement gives it worldwide rights to the compound by mid-February if BioGeneriX does not start the study.

While BioGeneriX may still decide to begin the trial without a partner, "the potential return of the GlycoPEG-GCSF rights to Neose is an attractive alternative," George J. Vergis, Neose president and chief executive officer, said in a statement issued by the company. "We believe this asset has significantly increased in value during our collaboration with BioGeneriX."

Still, three phases of trials must be successfully completed before the product can generate revenues for Neose. If this trial is delayed, it would be the second product setback for Neose in recent months.

On Sept. 5, Neose announced it was selling its corporate headquarters building for $21 million and cutting its workforce by one-quarter, or 25 jobs, because of delays in developing its key anemia drug, NE-180.

The Food and Drug Administration has raised questions about stability testing of NE-180, which has postponed the start of a Phase 1 human study since last year.

Neose shares closed down 6 percent, or 13 cents, to $2.03 on Nasdaq.

Contact staff writer Linda Loyd at 215-854-2831 or lloyd@phillynews.com.

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