Dynavax drops allergy drug trials

dynavaxBERKELEY — Biopharmaceutical company Dynavax Technologies Corp. announced Friday it is discontinuing two clinical trials for its ragweed allergy treatment.

The Berkeley-based company said it will explore developing a different path for trials for the treatment, called Tolamba.

It announced Jan. 8 that trials for the drug were inconclusive, sending shares of the company's stock that day down 30 percent to just below $6.

"It's not the death knell for the allergy program," said Shari Annes, a Dynavax spokeswoman. "It was an inconclusive trial, not a failed drug."

The company said it wants to find a partner and create a trial that's different from the traditional allergy trial that was inconclusive.

Dynavax also said it will reduce by $25 million its expenditures for clinical development this year.

The company's stock fell 4 cents Friday to $5.50 on the Nasdaq stock market. It peaked at $10.66 per share in November, and was a fast-rising stock for 2006. But the stock reversed directions after the January announcement.

Dynavax will continue focusing on its hepatitis B vaccine that is in pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials, Annes said.

Earlier this month, Dynavax announced a loss of $52 million for 2006.

It now expects 2007 revenue in the range of $24 million to $28 million.

The company has $86 million in cash and expects an influx of $30 million in April.

source - Insde Bay Area