Since April 2009, when Vancouver’s Cardiome (TSX:COM) signed a deal with US pharmaceutical giant Merck, it’s been all systems go. That was until October 21st, when a patient enrolled in the vernakalant, a drug designed to treat atrial fibrillation, or an abnormal heart rhythm, trial experienced cardiogenic shock and the trial was suspended.
Shares of Cardiome, however, did not exactly plummet. The stock lost just $.71 cents to close at $5.79 on October 21st, and was up slightly the next day. Perhaps this was do to the language of the press release:
“The trial’s independent data safety monitoring board (DSMB) has reviewed the case and recommended the trial continue; however, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has requested that full data regarding this case from the South American clinical site be provided for its review prior to determining what steps, if any, are needed to restart the study.”
The suspension of a trial is serious business, but if Cardiome can rebound, management may then be able to enjoy the Business BC award as fastest growing company in British Columbia, which was awarded to them yesterday. Cardiome’s continued success is important to the whole BC biotech industry, which desperately needed a company to run the table and bring a major treatment from infancy to commercialization.