Placebo haunts Cell Pathways

Cell Pathways Inc. last week said it was baffled by the improvement of patients in the placebo arm of its Phase III trial of Prevatac exisulind in adenomatous polyposis coli, which is a non-remitting disease. While the company believes that the trial, rather than the compound, is flawed, investors are likely to remain wary until CLPA can show that its only clinical product works.

"We feel that this is a failure of a trial, not a failure of a drug," said CEO Robert Towarnicki. "Some implementation of the trial caused the erroneous data. What really caught us by surprise is that APC is a non-remitting disease - without treatment patients will