Skye Bioscience to stop eye disease drug development after failing mid-stage study

(Reuters) -Skye Bioscience said on Monday it will discontinue development of its experimental eye disease treatment after the drug failed to meet the main goal of a mid-stage study, sending the company's shares down 38% in premarket trade.

In the 56-subject study, the eye drop, SBI-100, failed to significantly lower eye pressure in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma when compared with the placebo, the company said.

In this type of glaucoma, the eye does not drain fluid properly and leads to a gradual increase in eye pressure, potentially causing progressive vision loss and blindness.

Skye said it will redirect all clinical development resources from the treatment to its weight-loss drug program, extending its operating runway into 2027. Its mid-stage obesity trial is expected to start dosing patients in the third quarter of this year.

The experimental obesity drug, called nimacimab, aims to target the CB1 protein in adipose tissues where fat is stored, enabling it to directly affect metabolic processes to burn fat, according to information on the company's website. Skye said the drug also indirectly causes signaling to the brain that can decrease hunger.

The drug has the potential to address a broad range of diseases along with obesity, such as chronic kidney disease and metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH), the company said.

(Reporting by Sneha S K in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Mohammed Safi Shamsi)