Investors Frown on Biotech Famed for Emojis


Synergy Pharmaceuticals


SGYP 13.88%

shareholders have quite a mess on their hands.

The stock dove more than 70% on Friday morning, after the biotech focused on gastrointestinal drugs announced results of its strategic review Thursday evening. “To date, the offers received to acquire Synergy have been significantly below the company’s current market value, and it has been unable to consummate any partnerships,” the company said in a statement.

That wasn’t all. Synergy also informed investors that sales of its signature drug, the irritable bowel syndrome treatment Trulance, have been worse than anticipated “due to a highly competitive market-access environment and slower than anticipated overall market growth.”

Synergy caused a stir last year when it launched a promotional campaign for Trulance. That campaign included a  cast of emoji characters depicting an array of 14 different bowel movements which it called the Poop Troop. Names of characters included Clogged Chris, Runny Ron, and Mr. Smooth. The company said that the emojis would “allow people to better express the physical and emotional impact of chronic idiopathic constipation.”

Unfortunately, the latest update shows those marketing efforts have landed with a thud.

Write to Charley Grant at charles.grant@wsj.com



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