Shares in US firm Northfield Laboratories plunged on the Nasdaq yesterday after the firm revealed its blood substitute PolyHeme had failed to show a benefit in a late-stage clinical trial. Its value plummeted to less than $5 by close of trading yesterday, after swapping hands nearer the $17 mark earlier on in the month on expectations of positive data.

The first top-line data from the trial showed the product – which is an oxygen-carrying haemoglobin based offering for use in severely injured and bleeding patients when no blood is available – failed to meet its primary efficacy endpoint of either superiority or non-inferiority in terms of mortality at 30 days.

However, the company is remaining upbeat, saying it still plans to work towards a regulatory submission in the USA. It also pointed out that it’s uncovered discrepancies in the data and plans to re-evaluate them, especially as some patient populations did meet the study endpoint.

These data have been released because Northfield has had to unlock the data to correct the discrepancies it found.