Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Questions remain for Xoma after diabetes drug trial failure

If it was make-or-break time for Xoma Ltd. a couple months ago, it may be break time now.
Back in January, after the Berkeley company signed a deal with French drug maker Servier around its experimental anti-inflammatory treatment for diabetes, I said it was time for Xoma to put up or shut up. XOMA-052 has been ballyhooed as a potential once-a-month diabetes treatment, but its future now is in doubt as the drug failed an important Phase II trial, the company said Tuesday.
Xoma (NASDAQ: XOMA) will continue to analyze data from this mid-stage study and another ongoing Phase II, but in perhaps the understatement of Tuesday's conference call with analysts, Xoma Chairman and CEO Steven Engle said, "We have learned a lot."

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