Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Yo Chuck, We Got Some Nonbelievers Out There (Corcept Plunges)

Remember Corecpt Therapeutics? They were testing mifepristone (aka RU-486 or Corlux) for psychotic depression. Well, again, things did not go exactly as planned. As indicated earlier, they found that the medication was no more efficacious than a placebo for depression in one trial, a result that was replicated by a second failed trial. One has to admire their ability to make excuses, as their press release states “As was the case in study 07 [the prior failed trial], there was an unusually high placebo response rate in Study 09.” When all else fails, blame the placebo! Two failed trials or not, Corcept marches on: They are enrolling patients in a third trial and plan to announce results in early 2007. Here at the CPP Blog, I will be watching anxiously. If they get one out of three, will the FDA give it a stamp of approval?

Of course, one can only guess how Dr. Charles Nemeroff felt about this latest turn of events. After all, he is on the scientific advisory board for Corcept and their stock really took a beating (down 34% in one day) upon release of the second negative trial. You may remember Chuck as the researcher who published positive comments in a review article regarding mifepristone based on a study containing a whopping sample of five patients. The article contained no disclosure of any conflicts of interests, such as the fact that he was on the advisory board for the company whose drug he was pimping based on very skimpy data. You can refresh your memory about the story here. Let’s hope, for his sake, he was able to move his shares before the latest press release was issued!

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