Cambridge Antibody Technology is abandoning efforts to develop Trabio (lerdelimumab), a treatment for the eye disease glaucoma, after a second trial of the drug failed to meet its clinical objectives.

The UK company said the results were consistent with its first Phase III trial of the drug, announced in late 2004 [[10/11/04d]]. Trabio is an antibody designed to inhibit the scarring process that occurs after surgery for glaucoma, one of the main reasons for failure of the procedure.

“Given the results announced in November from the first Trabio trial, this is an outcome for which we have planned. We took the decision at that time to minimise all costs associated with this program,” said CAT’s chief executive, Peter Chambre. He said the company will now focus its resources on its other pipeline candidates, including its recently-signed alliance with AstraZeneca to discover drugs to treat inflammatory disorders [[22/11/04f]], an antibody for pulmonary fibrosis partnered with Genzyme that is just about to enter clinical testing, and CAT-354, a drug candidate for asthma in Phase I [[23/09/03e]].

The news about Trabio, coupled with an earlier announcement that Abbott Laboratories had been granted leave to appeal in its royalty dispute with CAT over the arthritis treatment Humira (adalimumab) [[22/03/05d]], took its toll on CAT’s share price, driving it down as much as 9% yesterday. However, the UK firm quickly rebounded to end the day up a little over 2%, at 720 pence.