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Local Tech Wire

DURHAM, N.C. – Shares in (Nasdaq: ISPH) plunged 13 percent as trading opened Monday on news that one of its primary drugs failed in Phase II clinical trails for an additional use of the compound.

Inspire opened at $6.15, down from $7.06 on Friday. The stock’s 52-week high is $7.07.

Shares did rally as the morning progressed, however, with the price climbing to $6.70 in late-morning trading.

At noon, shares traded at $6.65, down 5.8 percent.

Inspire finished the day at $6.61, off 45 cents or 6.8 percent.

More than 1.58 million shares were traded – more than four times the daily average.

The failed trials involved the pink eye drug AzaSite and focused on a treatment for anterior blepharitis, an eye inflammation.

Inspire licensed rights to AzaSite for $32 million in 2007 from InSite Vision.

Even though the trials failed to achieve the desired endpoints, Inspire said it would continue research and would pursue a Phase III test.

“These Phase II trials provided us with valuable information to advance our blepharitis program towards a potential labeled indication,” said Adrian Adams, who recently took over as chief executive officer at Inspire.

“We will be conducting additional work to refine trial parameters for an anticipated Phase III program,” he added. “We believe that the properties of AzaSite are well-suited for the treatment of blepharitis, which represents an unmet medical need and potential attractive market opportunity.”

Anterior blepharitis is generally associated with bacteria while the posterior condition is most often linked with gland problems, Inspire noted.