Aptinyx discovers the perils of the data dredge

Investors, alarmed by the failure of Aptinyx’s NYX-2925 in diabetic peripheral neuropathy, have sent the group’s stock down 48% so far today. But their surprise is itself somewhat surprising. The phase 2b study always looked like a big risk since an earlier phase 2a trial of the NMDA modulator failed; it was a post-hoc analysis of this that spurred Aptinyx to push on. Now ’2925 has failed to beat placebo on change from baseline in average daily pain on the numeric rating scale after 12 weeks of treatment, and the project appears to be toast in this indication. But Aptinyx still believes that the agent might have a chance in fibromyalgia, according to Leerink analysts, who write that because fibromyalgia is primarily driven by abnormal pain processing in the brain NYX-2925 might have a stronger rationale here than in neuropathy. A phase 2b trial of ’2925 is due to read out in the summer. The group also has two other NMDA modulators in trials due to report by the end of next year; it says it will “manage [its] existing balance sheet” to enable it to get to the finish line of these trials. 

Looking shaky: Aptinyx's NMDA modulators
Project Indication Timing
NYX-2925 Diabetic peripheral neuropathy Ph2b failed Apr 2022, after ph2 failure in 2019 
Fibromyalgia Ph2b data due Q3 2022
NYX-458 Cognitive impairment Ph2 data due late 2022/Q1 2023
NYX-783 Post-traumatic stress disorder Ph2/3 data due H2 2023, previous ph2 trial failed
Source: Evaluate Pharma & clinicaltrials.gov.

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