Business

Trial results spark Sirtex share plunge

Disappointing results from a clinical trial have triggered a massive fall in Sirtex Medical's share price.

Shares in Sirtex Medical have plunged almost 30 per cent after a trial of its liver cancer treatment proved disappointing, and the company announced the departure of its US chief executive.

A global study of the company's radiation therapy for colon and liver cancer called SIR-Spheres Y-90 resin microspheres found it delivered no benefit when used in conjunction with chemotherapy, compared to treatment with only chemotherapy, Sirtex said.

Interim chief executive Nigel Lane said the findings were disappointing but management expects they will have minimal commercial impact on the business, as the majority of patients it currently treats have failed all standard chemotherapy treatments.

Sirtex shares dropped $4.25, or 28.3 per cent, to a four year low of $10.75, wiping $245 million from the company's market value.

The shares were valued at around $34.00 in August, but have fallen after the company downgraded its sales forecasts in December, and subsequently faced accusations it misled investors with overly optimistic forecasts.

Sirtex also announced Kevin Richardson, its CEO of the Americas, "has ceased employment with the company, effective immediately".

The company has appointed an acting vice president of sales and will conduct a search to identify a suitable internal or external candidate to replace Mr Richardson.