Dermira Announces Positive Phase 2b Results for DRM04; Neogen Responds to Cumin and Spice Blend Contamination Involving Peanuts Print E-mail
By Josh Gee   
Thursday, 05 February 2015 19:52
Below is a look at some of the headlines for companies that made news in the healthcare sector on February 5, 2015.
Dermira, Inc. (Nasdaq:DERM), announced positive Phase 2b study results for DRM04, its proprietary topical anticholinergic product, in patients with axillary hyperhidrosis, or excessive underarm sweating. Based on the results of this study (DRM04-HH02) and its first Phase 2b study (DRM04-HH01), Dermira plans to initiate a Phase 3 program for DRM04 in axillary hyperhidrosis in the second half of 2015, consistent with previous expectations and subject to an end-of-phase 2 meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"We are extremely pleased with the progress of our DRM04 clinical development program and the promise DRM04 holds as a potential treatment for the millions of hyperhidrosis patients, who suffer from this debilitating condition, and the dermatologists who treat them," stated Tom Wiggans, chairman and chief executive officer of Dermira. "We believe the positive results from our two completed Phase 2b studies, especially the treatment effect and tolerability profile we have observed, will support the advancement of DRM04 into Phase 3 clinical development in the second half of 2015."

Dermira's Phase 2 hyperhidrosis program included two randomized, double-blind, vehicle-controlled Phase 2b clinical trials in approximately 300 patients with severe, primary axillary hyperhidrosis. The first Phase 2b study (DRM04-HH01), completed in August 2014, demonstrated dose-dependent and, at certain doses, statistically significant reductions in the signs and symptoms of primary axillary hyperhidrosis in patients treated with a topical formulation of an anticholinergic agent that has been approved for systemic administration in other indications, referred to as the topical formulation of the reference agent. The results of the second Phase 2b study (DRM04-HH02) were consistent with the results of the previous Phase 2b study and now provide clinical experience with DRM04, Dermira's proprietary product containing a novel form of the reference agent.

Study DRM04-HH02 Design and Results  --  Given the substantial clinical experience gained with the topical formulation of the reference agent in Study DRM04-HH01, Study DRM04-HH02 was designed to gain clinical experience with DRM04 prior to the initiation of Phase 3 development. Accordingly, Study DRM04-HH02 was not powered to demonstrate statistical significance. Study DRM04-HH02 was a randomized, double-blind, vehicle-controlled clinical trial assessing the efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetics of DRM04, the topical formulation of the reference agent, and vehicle in 105 patients with severe, primary axillary hyperhidrosis. Patients were randomized equally into five arms to receive DRM04 at one of two concentrations, a topical formulation at one of two concentrations of the reference agent, or vehicle only.

Patients enrolled in Study DRM04-HH02 were instructed to apply the study product to each axilla once daily for four weeks using wipes containing either drug product or vehicle only. Primary efficacy endpoints included the absolute change from baseline in gravimetrically-measured sweat production and the proportion of patients who achieved at least a two-grade improvement from baseline in their score on the Hyperhidrosis Disease Severity Scale (HDSS). The HDSS is a widely used patient-reported outcome tool which allows patients to rate the severity of their disease on a four-point scale. Each of these endpoints was assessed at the end of the four-week treatment period. The study also explored a new, proprietary patient-reported outcome instrument, the Axillary Sweating Daily Diary (ASDD), as a potential additional measure of disease severity.

The average reduction in sweat production from baseline to week four ranged from 67.7% to 79.8% (72.7 to 105.3 mg per five minutes) in patients in the two arms treated with DRM04, compared to 48.7% (53.9 mg per five minutes) in patients who received the vehicle only. The proportion of patients who achieved at least a two-grade improvement in HDSS score from baseline to week four ranged from 40.9% to 50.0% in patients in the two arms treated with DRM04, compared to 27.3% in patients who received the vehicle only. For patients in the two arms treated with the topical formulation of the reference agent, the results were consistent with those observed in Study DRM04-HH01. Overall, Study DRM04-HH02 met the company's objectives and expectations. ASDD data, which are still being validated, demonstrated greater improvements in disease severity in all treatment arms than in the vehicle arm.

Consistent with previous experience in the DRM04-HH01 Phase 2b study, topical treatment was well tolerated with a low incidence of manageable side effects across the arms evaluated in Study DRM04-HH02. The most common adverse events reported were dry mouth, application site pain and headache. No treatment-related serious adverse events were reported.


Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ: NEOG)
announced that its comprehensive line of food allergen tests includes quantitative and screening test kits that can quickly and accurately detect peanut and almond allergens in cumin and spice blends.

Neogen's AOAC-approved Veratox® for Peanut Allergen has been validated to detect and fully quantify peanut residues in cumin in about 30 minutes, with minimal training and equipment. Neogen also offers its Alert® for Peanut Allergen, which screens samples at 5 parts per million (ppm), and is based on the same technology of its Veratox test. The company offers the same options to test samples for the presence of almonds. In addition, the Reveal® for Peanut Allergen test kit is an effective screening tool for the presence of peanut residues in these sample types.

For companies that prefer not to do their own on-site testing, Neogen also offers a rapid laboratory testing service at its locations in Lansing, Mich., and Ayr, Scotland.

"Both food allergic consumers and food producers rely on the accurate labeling of food products to protect themselves from the consequences of the accidental ingestion of food allergens," said Tony Lupo, Neogen's Director of Technical Services. "Testing that we have done with numerous raw ingredient and finished product samples containing cumin have detected the presence of peanuts, in high levels in some cases. Tests can protect businesses in the food value chain — and their consumers."

Neogen's tests detect both the nut and residual protein remaining in shell components of peanuts and almonds.

Neogen has created a special website where processors, producers and test labs can go for further information, including a new white paper on contaminated cumin. The address is On the site you will find information on contacting Neogen to speak to a specialist, and be able to download our new white paper, our allergen supplier checklist, and our Food Allergen Control Handbook.

Neogen's food allergen testing products have been developed in close cooperation with the University of Nebraska's Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP, FARRP is a food industry and university partnership that was formed to provide research and resource tools to the food industry. It is the leader in training and educating the industry on allergen awareness.

Also Thursday:

ACETO Corporation (Nasdaq:ACET)
, a global leader in the marketing, sale and distribution of products for Human Health, Pharmaceutical Ingredients and Performance Chemicals, today announced that its Board of Directors has declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.06 per common share.

Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:AEGR)
, a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for patients with debilitating rare diseases, announced the company will participate in the 2015 Leerink Global Healthcare Conference being held in New York City. Marc Beer, chief executive officer of Aegerion, is scheduled to present on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 2:15 p.m. EST.

Akers Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:AKER) (AIM:AKR.L)
, a medical device company focused on reducing the cost of healthcare through faster, easier diagnosis, announces that its Executive Chairman, Raymond F. Akers Jr., Ph.D, will present to prospective investors next week at the 17th Annual BIO CEO & Investor Conference in New York City.

Allscripts (Nasdaq:MDRX)
client Springhill Medical Center (Mobile, Ala., U.S.A.) used the Allscripts Sunrise platform to achieve Stage 7, the highest level attainable, on the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption ModelSM (EMRAM).

athenahealth, Inc. (Nasdaq:ATHN)
, a leading provider of cloud-based services and mobile applications for medical groups and health systems, today announced financial and operational results for the fourth quarter and full year 2014.

Fate Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq:FATE)
, a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of programmed cellular therapeutics for the treatment of severe, life-threatening diseases, today announced that Christian Weyer, M.D., M.A.S., President and Chief Executive Officer, will present at the 2015 Leerink Global Healthcare Conference on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 1:50 pm EST in New York, NY.

Hansen Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: HNSN)
, a global leader in intravascular robotics, today announced FDA approval of an expanded protocol for the ARTISAN-AF IDE Study.

HealthEquity, Inc. (Nasdaq:HQY)
, one of the largest HSA non-bank custodians, today announced HSA Member metrics as of its fiscal year end January 31, 2015, and a Q4 FY15 non-cash charge.

Immunomedics, Inc., (Nasdaq:IMMU)
announced today the pricing of its offering of $85,000,000 aggregate principal amount of 4.75% Convertible Senior Notes due 2020 (the "Convertible Notes") in a private placement under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act").

Macrocure Ltd. (Nasdaq:MCUR)
, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing a novel therapeutic platform to address chronic and hard-to-heal wounds, today announced that it will hold a Special General Meeting of Shareholders on March 11, 2015 for the purposes of approving amendments to the compensation package of the Company's Chief Executive Officer, or the CEO, for the 2015 year, and approving amendments to the Company's 2013 Share Incentive Plan.

NeoStem, Inc. (Nasdaq:NBS)
, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel cell based personalized medicine therapies, announced today that the Company's management will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference on February 9th and at Sachs Associates Cancer Bio Partnering & Investment Forum on February 23rd.

Portola Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:PTLA)
today announced that the Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC) recommended that the Phase 3 APEX (Acute Medically Ill VTE Prevention with Extended Duration Betrixaban) Study of betrixaban continue as planned without modification based on the successful completion of a pre-specified futility analysis.

The Spectranetics Corporation (Nasdaq:SPNC)
today announced that the Company will release 2014 fourth quarter financial results after market close on Thursday, February 19, 2015.

TESARO, Inc. (Nasdaq:TSRO)
announced today that Lonnie Moulder, CEO of TESARO, will present at the Leerink Global Healthcare Conference at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on February 12, 2015 at 11:10 AM Eastern time.

TESARO, Inc. (Nasdaq:TSRO)
will announce its fourth-quarter 2014 financial results on Thursday, February 19, 2015, after the close of the U.S. financial markets.

Urologix, Inc. (OTCQB:ULGX)
, the leading provider of in-office procedures for the safe, durable and effective treatment of BPH, today reported financial results for its fiscal year 2015 second quarter ended December 31, 2014.

VeriTeQ Corporation (OTC Markets:VTEQ)
, a provider of implantable medical device identification and radiation dose measurement technologies, today commented on this morning's Today Show segment entitled "Company implants microchips in employees."

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