Actinogen shares crash after drug trial

Shares in Actinogen Medical are down by two-thirds after a two-year drug trial found the Sydney biotech company's drug hadn't worked to treat Alzheimer's.

Shares in Sydney biotech company Actinogen Medical have crashed after a clinical trial found the company's drug candidate hadn't worked to treat Alzheimer's disease.

While the two-year trial involving 186 people with mild dementia showed 10mg of Xanamem decreased production of the stress hormone cortisol, it didn't improve their cognition any more than a placebo.

"Whilst a 10mg daily dose of Xanamen appears safe and pharmacologically active, higher doses and longer treatment duration may be necessary to effectively demonstrate its potential to improve cognition in Alzheimer's disease," Actinogen said.

Actinogen said it was confident in the relationship between raised cortisol and cognitive impairment and believes lowering the hormone could treat other diseases such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Results from a safety trial of how healthy elderly volunteers tolerate Xanamem in 20mg and 30mg doses should be available by June, Actinogen said.

At 1104 AEST Actinogen shares were down 3.2 cents, or 66.67 per cent, to 1.6 cents - a near five-year low.

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