OPKO Health Inc. Miami headquarters

OPKO Health Inc reports that the growth hormone efficiency drug that it developed in collaboration with Pfizer isn’t working. The Miami-based company, specialized in drug testing, states there are no significant differences between the patients who were administered the drug and those having received a placebo.

On Friday, OPKO Health announced unsatisfactory results regarding the drug they were developing with Pfizer Inc., called hGH-CTP. The drug was meant to treat growth hormone deficiency (GHD).

hGH-CTP was administered weekly, as an injection, to an experimental group of participants.  The control group of participants received a placebo, with the same frequency. At the end of the trial, measurements have shown that there is no significant benefit of the drug over a placebo.

Predictably, OPKO shares have dropped in early trading, as low as 14 percent.

However, the company has announced it has already started a second late-stage study, in which hGH-CTP is evaluated against genotropin, which Pfizer developed.

Growth Hormone Deficiency is a rare condition, which is caused by abnormalities arising in the pituitary gland, resulting in the body not producing enough growth hormone (somatropin). It is a disorder that can be both congenital or acquired (at any stage) in a person’s lifetime.  In children, it manifests through hypoglycemia, jaundice, slow muscular development, micropenis (in males) and specific face features.

In adults, GHD triggers reduced muscle mass, baldness (in men), osteoporosis, lack of energy, increased body fat and heart problems.

Causes range from congenital to tumors, to radiation therapy, to trauma, to unknown.

Treatment of the disorder include growth hormone administration, which differs in children from adults and it is reportedly very expensive. In the United States, yearly treatment ranges from $10,000 to $40,000 for a child and just a little lower for an adult.

OKPO’s main fields of medical testing and production include vaccines, hormones, antibiotics, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular products and eye care.