Vanda's atopic dermatitis drug fall flat in mid-stage trial
- Tradipitant, an investigational drug intended to treat atopic dermatitis, did not show statistically significant results compared with placebo in mid-stage trials—but Vanda is adding more studies. The failure was attributed to a very high placebo effect.
- Vanda licensed tradipitant from Eli Lilly in 2012.
- However, another analysis showed that patients with higher levels of drug exposure at the point of evaluation had clinically meaningful responses. Therefore, Vanda plans to add additional studies to find out more.
The failure of tradipitant in mid-stage trials is not unusual. In fact, according to experts, 14% of drugs in development fail in phase II. This is one reason that drug development is so expensive—the high rate of failure. In this case, however (and in others as well), there may be a hidden indication or benefit to this failure.
For example, it may be a question of dosing or targeting a specific treatment population. Also, it should be noted that this is not Vanda's first drug. The company has two other FDA-approved drug, including the schizophrenia drug Fanapt (iloperidine).
The stock was down on the news—as much as 9% at one point. Nonetheless, it's not over until it's over.