Neurocrine throws in the towel on Tourette’s

It looks like the end of the road for Neurocrine Biosciences’ Ingrezza in Tourette’s. The failure of the paediatric T-Force Gold trial prompted an admission by the company’s chief executive, Kevin Gorman, that the drug did not appear to work in the disorder – at odds with the usual biopharma strategy of scouring subgroups for the slightest hint of benefit. Neurocrine upped the dose of Ingrezza in T-Force Gold after previous Tourette’s failures, but Mr Gorman seemed wary of increasing this further, saying on a conference call today: “We pushed the dose as far as we thought we could.” The company added that the placebo response had been as expected. The chief exec also appeared pessimistic about the chances of an ongoing randomised withdrawal trial of Ingrezza, T-Force Platinum, and even if this were a surprise hit it alone would not support a filing, he added. Ingrezza is already approved in tardive dyskinesia, and Neurocrine has not ruled out looking at other movement disorders, either with the drug or a backup project that also targets the vesicular monoamine transporter. Mr Gorman focused on other “exciting” assets in Neurocrine’s pipeline, concluding that the group’s future “still looks very good”, but this failed to completely placate investors: shares in the company fell 21% on the news, erasing around $1.6bn in value.

Neurocrine's pipeline
Project Mechanism Indication Status 2024e sales ($m)
Ingrezza* VMAT2 inhibitor Tardive dyskinesia Approved 1,534
    Tourette's Failed phase II 251
Orilissa** GnRH antagonist Endometriosis Approved 898
    Uterine fibroids Filing due 653
Opicapone*** COMT inhibitor Parkinson's disease Filing due Q2 243
NBI-74788 CRF-R1 antagonist Congenital adrenal hyperplasia Phase II data due Q1 -
*Licensed to Mitusbishi in Asia; **partnered with Abbvie, Neurocrine to receive royalties only; ***partnered with Ono in Japan. Source: EvaluatePharma.

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