San Diego Business Journal

Struggling Regulus Scraps Programs, Loses Big Pharma Partner

By Brittany Meiling Monday, June 12, 2017
   

And the punches keep coming for San Diego drugmaker Regulus Therapeutics Inc.

This morning, the troubled company announced that it’s scrapping two of its programs (including its lead product candidate), sending the company’s stock south once again. On top of the two internal programs, the company’s big pharma partner AstraZeneca is terminating development of a drug it had licensed from Regulus back in 2012.

Regulus started out this year with the bad news in January that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was putting the brakes on a trial for Regulus’ lead product candidate, RG-101. Regulus was in a Phase 1 study of the drug for hepatitis C in patients with kidney failure. But after a second patient enrolled in the study developed a serious case of jaundice (a liver condition that causes yellowing of the eyes and skin), the trial was put on hold for safety reasons.

The suspension held for a year, while Regulus cut more than 30 percent of its workforce and lost its CEO Paul Grint, who resigned last month.

Now Regulus only has one drug left in human clinical testing: RG-012, a drug for Alport Syndrome, which is in Phase 2 trials. Results are expected mid-2018. The company said it will also consider developing better, safer versions of RG-101.

The company’s stock has fallen 95 percent since its peak in 2014. The stock price was trading at $1.18 per share by mid-morning on Monday.