AstraZeneca PLC (AZN), BTG plc (BGC.L) Scrap Sepsis Drug as Trial Fails  
8/8/2012 7:27:52 AM

An experimental drug for severe sepsis from AstraZeneca and BTG failed to help patients in a crucial mid-stage clinical trial and its development will now be halted, BTG said on Wednesday. Sepsis occurs when the body's immune system sets off a chain reaction and over-reacts to an infection, damaging vital organs. The news is a blow for both companies' drug pipelines, although the development of CytoFab, or AZD9773, was always viewed by analysts as risky. There are big potential rewards for a successful medicine to treat sepsis, which affects around 3 million people a year worldwide and has a 30 percent mortality rate. The drug industry, however, is littered with past failures in the area.