Eleven Bio shares fall on failed study of eye drug

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NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Eleven Biotherapeutics Inc. plunged Monday after the clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company said its key drug candidate failed to meet its goals in a late-stage study.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company is developing EBI-005 as a treatment for dry eye disease. The condition involves a lack of adequate moisture for a person's eyes. The drug candidate failed to meet both of its key treatment goals in the study.

The stock fell $8.63, or 72 percent, to $3.33 in premarket trading.

"We are disappointed that our Phase 3 study in dry eye disease did not meet its primary efficacy endpoints, but we are encouraged that we continue to see a favorable tolerability profile for EBI-005," said President and CEO Abbie Celniker, in a statement.

The company said it will focus on continuing development of the drug candidate for potential use as an allergic conjunctivitis treatment. It will not start another late-stage study focusing on dry eye disease that it had planned for later this year.

Eleven Biotherapeutics said it currently has about $59 million in cash and cash equivalents, which it expects will finance its current plans into the second half of 2016. The company has about $15 million in debt.

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