Pfizer-IonisPfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is abandoning plans to develop an investigational antisense therapy known as vupanorsen for potential use for cardiovascular indications and severe hypertriglyceridemia (SHTG).

The company had projected that vupanorsen could generate up to $3 billion in peak sales.

Pfizer is returning development rights of the drug to Ionis Pharmaceuticals (NSDQ:IONS), from whom it licensed the drug in 2019.

“While this outcome is disappointing, the clinical and scientific knowledge derived from the vupanorsen program will hopefully contribute to a greater understanding of cardiovascular risk reduction and severe hypertriglyceridemia and the current gaps in treating these conditions,” said Dr. James Rusnak, senior vice president and chief development officer, internal medicine and hospital of Pfizer, in a statement.

Pfizer, which led the development of vupanorsen, made the decision after reviewing data from the global TRANSLATE-TIMI 70 Phase 2b trial involving statin-treated participants with dyslipidemia.

That study met its primary endpoint of providing a statistically significant reduction in non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C), triglycerides and angiopoietin-like 3.

Pfizer concluded, however, that the degree of improvement did not merit further development for CV risk reduction or SHTG.

In the TRANSLATE-TIMI 70 study, vupanorsen was also associated with elevations in liver fat with higher doses leading to increases  in the liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST).

PFE shares fell 2.85% to $52.78 in mid-afternoon trading.

IONS shares were down 1.70% to $31.14.