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Forest Labs says depression drug fails in study

From Associated Press (January 20, 2011)

NEW YORK -- Forest Laboratories Inc. said Thursday its depression treatment levomilnacipran failed in a late-stage clinical trial, as the drug was no more effective than a placebo at treating depression.

Forest and its partner, French drug maker Pierre Fabre Medicament, said the patients treated with levomilnacipran and patients treated with placebo had similar results, and the difference between them was not statistically significant. In the trial, 362 patients were treated with 40 milligrams to 100 milligrams of levomilnacipran per day or a placebo. The 11-week study compared the change in patients’ symptoms on a clinical rating scale.

The companies said 8 percent of the levomilnacipran patients left the study due to side effects, compared to 2.2 percent of patients who took the placebo. The most common side effects of treatment with levomilnacipran were nausea and headache. Forest and Pierre Fabre are running two other late-stage trials of the drug, and they expect results from those studies in the second half of 2011.

Shares of Forest fell 30 cents to $31.58 in morning trading.

Posted: January 2011

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