NeuroSearch Experimental Obesity Drug to Begin Phase 3 Trials Print
Tuesday, 09 June 2009 18:32
As a trio of U.S. small-cap drug makers await crucial Phase 3 results later this year; NeuroSearch (CPH:NEUR) (PINK:NEUSF) is preparing to advance its own experimental weight loss drug to the final stage of clinical development following a successful End of Phase 2 meeting with the FDA which was announced earlier this week. Arena Pharma (NASDAQ:ARNA), Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS), and Orexigen Therapeutics (NASDAQ:OREX) are all awaiting Phase 3 clinical trial data expected during 3Q09 for their experimental weight loss drugs to support NDA filings for FDA approval, which are summarized and tracked in the FDA CalendarOn 6/8/09, NeuroSearch announced that it has successfully completed its End of Phase 2 meeting with the FDA for tesofensine, a monoamine reuptake inhibitor in development as a novel treatment for obesity (weight management). The FDA endorses the overall Phase 3 plan for tesofensine in obesity, including the filing of an NDA based on 12 months safety and efficacy data. NeuroSearch will now finalize Phase 3 preparations and an SPA (Special Protocol Assessment) request for submission to the FDA, while continuing discussions with potential license partners.The main conclusions from the End of Phase II discussions with the FDA include the following: (1) The proposed dose regimen of 0.25 mg or 0.5 mg tesofensine daily in Phase III was endorsed. (2) The proposed pivotal Phase 3 program for tesofensine in weight management was endorsed by the FDA and will consist of four placebo-controlled clinical studies, comprising a total of approximately 5,700 obese patients with and without co-morbidities (such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and dislipidemia). (3) Two of the four trials are powered to show superior weight loss effectiveness for tesofensine compared to sibutramine (marketed as Reductil and Meridia). (4) The safety and efficacy assessment within and
across the Phase 3 studies and

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the filing of the NDA for tesofensine for weight management based on 12 months data were also endorsed by the FDA.

Earlier results from a Phase II Proof of Concept study with tesofensine in obesity, TIPO-1, has shown a placebo-corrected average weight loss of approximately 10% after 24 weeks of daily treatment with 0.5 mg tesofensine. The results from TIPO-1 have been published in The Lancet (The Lancet, Volume 372, Issue 9653, Pages 1906-1913, 29 November 2008) with the conclusion that tesofensine produces a weight loss at least twice that of currently approved anti-obesity drugs. The safety data base for tesofensine includes more than 1,500 patients having been exposed to treatment with tesofensine and

hereof more than 1,300 on relevant dosing.

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