When it comes to one of its potential new drugs, Watson Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:WPI) hasn't quite nailed it yet. It said late Wednesday that late-stage clinical trials of its patch to treat onychomycosis delivered mixed results. Apparently, one trial showed the medication was effective, while another failed to prove the treatment yielded more cures than a placebo.

In case you were wondering exactly what onychomycosis is (and especially considering that's not exactly a word you'd want to say five times really fast), it's garden-variety nail fungus. Yucky, but common.

According to the National Society Onychomycosis Society website (which offers a section on "Fun Fungus Facts," bless their hearts), about 30 million people suffer from the ailment, with 11 million new cases diagnosed every year. Anyone, at any age, can get it and many of us will likely see it in our futures -- it tends to strike people between the ages of 40 and 65.

While this is a disorder that many may consider cosmetic and harmless, pictures on that website sure do make a case for getting treatment.

There are already several medications for nail fungus on the market. These include Novartis AG's (NYSE:NVS) Lamisil, which is one of that company's most popular products; it claims to have 80% of the prescriptions for the disorder, though its latest annual filing says the market has been declining. There's also Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE:JNJ) Janssen unit's Sporanox.

As it stands now, Watson said it will take the next six to eight weeks to weigh its options on the patch. The company had previously anticipated submitting it to the FDA in 2004, in the hopes of garnering approval in 2005.

While it's certainly a bummer, this piece of news doesn't seem like cause for too much alarm. While common, it's a disorder that many people ignore, and there's entrenched competition in Lamisil.

And as Jeff Hwang pointed out in November after robust earnings, Watson's stolen the show recently, with imminent launches of generic versions of Glucotrol, Percocet, and Serzone, among other compelling factors. So, like a stubbed toe, the pain related to this particular frustrated trial may be fleeting.

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Alyce Lomax welcomes your feedback at alomax@fool.com.