Shares of AVI BioPharma Inc. has lost a third of their value on Wednesday after the company reported disappointing clinical trial data for its experimental treatment against the hepatitis C virus.
The shares of AVI were down $2.43, or 33 percent, to $4.83, in the heavy morning trade on the Nasdaq.
The Portland, Oregon based biotechnology company said that the results came from the second stage of a trial involving the antisense drug, called AVI-4065, among patients infected with the liver-damaging virus. Company officials have said that the drug showed favourable safety in all patients treated so far, but patients have experienced only a mean "slight decrease" in the amount of virus in their bloodstreams both during and after treatment.
Antisense drugs, like AVI-4065, are artificial pieces of genetic material that are meant to prevent genes from expressing disease-causing proteins. Sadly the technology has not yet achieved great success despite high earlier hopes.