Adamas shares plunge 45% after drug to help MS patients walk disappoints

By Vishwadha Chander

(Reuters) - Adamas Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Tuesday its drug to treat walking impairment in patients with multiple sclerosis did not show the clinical benefit the drugmaker was hoping for in a late-stage trial, sending shares of the company down 45%.

The company said it would assess the potential for the treatment, Gocovri, in MS patients before determining its continued investment in the program.

While a higher dose of the treatment taken at bedtime improved walking speed among patients with multiple sclerosis, it did not have any significant effect on secondary goals.

Multiple sclerosis is a disabling autoimmune disease that damages the central nervous system and can lead to fatigue, pain, vision loss, impaired coordination and motor skills.

Nearly 270,000 MS patients in the U.S have walking impairment.

Gocovri is currently approved to treat a side-effect caused by a commonly prescribed Parkinson's drug and generated sales of $13.9 million in the latest quarter.

It is an extended-release capsule and is designed to gradually increase drug concentrations in the body.

The trial tested two different doses of the treatment and compared it with a placebo: patients who took the higher 274 mg dose showed a significant improvement 12 weeks after treatment.

The results were assessed using a timed test in which patients were asked to walk 25 feet as quickly and safely as possible.

Adamas said it would talk to the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration to discuss a regulatory pathway for the drug, but will not go ahead with another planned late-stage study.

The company's stock, which has fallen 14% in 2019, was trading at $4 on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Vishwadha Chander; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)