La Jolla CEO decamps just as biotech faces a reckoning for iron overload drug

Months after touting how LJPC-401 appears to significantly lower excess iron levels in a small study involving patients with hereditary hemochromatosis, La Jolla Pharmaceutical is reconsidering its plans as the drug flopped for beta thalassemia patients. And they?ll be reviewing their future under a new CEO ? with a seriously deflated share price.

George Tidmarsh

The San Diego-based biotech is gutting that study, LJ401-BT01, immediately. A recent interim analysis, which included about half of the enrolled population, suggested a lack of efficacy. As far as they could tell, patients on the treatment and control arms saw the same changes in cardiac iron levels, the primary endpoint, and in oth