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Renovo wounded by cosmetic drug setback

Published on 07/03/08 at 11:21am

UK biotech company Renovo has received disappointing clinical trial results for its new anti-scarring and wound healing drug Juvista.

The treatment had been tipped to reach blockbuster status, but the new trial data has raised serious doubt over its commercial potential for use in cosmetic surgery.

The phase II trial showed little or no difference between Juvista and a placebo in reducing scarring and wound healing in patients after breast enlargement operations, casting serious doubt on the drug's future.

Renovo has claimed Juvista could end the need for dressings or stitches following surgery, by allowing patients to instead have just one injection of the drug into wounds after an operation.

The company says it believes further phase II data suggests that two injections of the drug rather than one will produce better results, but doubts will remain until conclusive data is available.

A spokesman from Renovo said the company would speak with regulators and its marketing and development partner Shire, before deciding whether to pursue further trials in breast augmentation and other cosmetic surgery using two dose of Juvista.

The company admitted a wide label for the drug was now doubtful, and shares in the company lost two-thirds of their value, settling at around 58 pence per share.

Juvista has shown positive results in another trial for scar revision, and the company plans to commence phase III trials in this indication in the second half of 2008.

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