Novartis decision hurts NexMed shares

Novartis will not submit a new drug application for NexMed's topical experimental treatment for nail fungus, and that decision is hurting NexMed's share prices. The drug developer saw shares drop several times throughout the day yesterday. According to Novartis, late stage clinical trials on the treatment, called NM100060, were the cause of the decision. The topical treatment is aimed at mild to moderate toenail fungus.

In 2005, Novartis took on all regulatory, manufacturing, commercialization and clinical development responsibilities for the treatment in an exclusive, worldwide $4 million licensing deal, which had potential to net NexMed up to $47 million.

NexMed is hoping to recover following a mid-2009 release of the results of a comparator study in Europe, according to the company's president and chief executive officer, Vivian Lu.

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