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What: After Revance Therapeutics (NASDAQ:RVNC) reported that its clinical-stage treatment for crow's feet failed, its shares tumbled 23% at 11:00 a.m. EDT today. 

So what: After the closing bell yesterday, Revance Therapeutics management announced that its RT001 for the treatment of crow's feet failed to achieve its endpoints in a large phase 3 clinical trial. RT001 was evaluated in a 450-patient trial in which patients were randomized 1:1 to receive either RT001 or placebo. The company had hoped to show that RT001 would provide a two-point or greater improvement in crow's feet at 28 days post-treatment on a grading scale. It was also hoping that RT001 would net a one-point or greater improvement in a patient assessment.

Unfortunately, the trial did not achieve either of these goals, and as a result, management has decided to curtail further development of RT001 in order to focus on other treatments in its pipeline. 

Now what: RT001 was the most advanced therapy in the company's pipeline, and this disappointing news means investors will have to push back even further any hopes for commercial revenue and profitability.

Specifically, investors will need to focus on RT002, a treatment for frown lines that delivered positive interim mid-term results last fall. Management has met with regulators regarding the design of a phase 3 trial for RT002 and plans are for that late-stage study to begin soon.

While RT001's failure is a disappointment, the company remains well capitalized with $237 million in cash exiting March. Management expects that's enough money to get it into 2018. At that point, it will need to hope that RT002 is ready for the market, or else it will need to raise more cash via a secondary offering.

Overall, the market for cosmetic treatment is worth billions of dollars annually and that makes Revance Therapeutics intriguing enough to keep an eye on. However, it will be a long time before we find out if RT002 is better at frown lines than RT001 was at crow's feet. For that reason, there's no need to rush in and buy.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.