Depomed Announces Initiation of Phase 2 Clinical Study; Aeterna Zentaris Announces "At-the-Market" Issuance Program Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 24 January 2012 20:22
Below is a look at some of the headlines for companies that made news in the healthcare sector on January 24, 2012.

Depomed, Inc. (NASDAQ:DEPO)
announced it has initiated a Phase 2 clinical trial of DM-1992, Depomed's novel gastric-retentive, extended-release formulation of carbidopa/levodopa, in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease with motor fluctuations.

"We believe DM-1992 may meet a significant unmet need of Parkinson's patients. DM-1992 is intended to be dosed twice-daily and to maintain consistent therapeutic blood levels of carbidopa/levodopa throughout the full 24 hour period and reduce the off/on fluctuations which occur with existing levodopa therapies and are so troublesome to Parkinson's disease patients," said Michael Sweeney, MD, Depomed's Chief Medical Officer and Vice President, Research and Development.

"Carbidopa/levodopa (CD/LD) is still considered the gold standard for treatment of Parkinson's disease," said Leo Verhagen, MD, PhD, a Parkinson's disease expert at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, "but as the years go by, the duration of the benefit from each dose of CD/LD becomes progressively shorter. As a result, patients will take this medication many times (in some cases up to 10 times) per day. Even then they will still experience acute fluctuations between short periods of good mobility ("on" time) and episodes of immobility ("off" time). Therefore, having a CD/LD product that could provide more consistent blood levels for a longer period of time would represent an exciting addition to our current treatment options."  

DM-1992 is an investigative novel gastric-retentive, extended-release dosage form of carbidopa/levodopa, a marketed therapy used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. The Phase 2 clinical trial is designed to enroll at 8 U.S. clinical centers up to 45 patients with Parkinson's disease with motor fluctuations. The trial is a randomized, active-controlled, open-label, crossover study and will test DM-1992 dosed twice daily against a generic version of immediate-release carbidopa/levodopa dosed as needed. The study will assess efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetic variables. The primary endpoint for the study is change in off time as measured by patient self-assessment and clinician assessment.


Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS)
, a late-stage drug development company specialized in oncology and endocrine therapy, announced today that, pursuant to its existing "At-the-Market" ("ATM") Sales Agreement, dated June 29, 2011, with MLV & Co. LLC ("MLV"), formerly McNicoll, Lewis & Vlak LLC, the Company is commencing a new ATM issuance program under which it  may, at its discretion, from time to time during the term of the sales agreement, sell up to a maximum of 10,400,000 of its common shares through ATM issuances on the NASDAQ Stock Market up to an aggregate amount of $16.0 million. MLV will act as sales agent for any sales made under the ATM. The common shares will be sold at market prices prevailing at the time of the sale of common shares, and, as a result, prices may vary.

In connection with the commencement of this ATM issuance program, the Company has filed a prospectus supplement dated January 23, 2012 to its U.S. shelf prospectus, dated July 15, 2010, forming part of its U.S. registration statement on Form F-10 with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") as well as a prospectus supplement to its Canadian final base shelf prospectus dated July 15, 2010.

Also Tuesday:

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) today announced that its Board of Directors has elected Gerald L. Storch to the Board, effective yesterday.

Cannabis Science, Inc. (OTCBB: CBIS.OB) a pioneering U.S. biotech company developing pharmaceutical cannabis (marijuana) products, is pleased to announce new remarkable photographic updates of the 3rd cancer patient, with treatment-resistant squamous cell carcinoma on his head.

Elanco, the animal health division of Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY), today announced that Lilly has signed an agreement to acquire ChemGen Corp., a privately held bioscience company specializing in the development and commercialization of innovative feed enzyme products that improve the efficiency of poultry, egg, and meat production.

Fusion Telecommunications International, Inc. (OTCBB: FSNN) today announced that it has entered into an exclusive Group Purchasing agreement for Cloud Services and Communications Solutions with the group purchasing organizations (GPOs) Essensa and Innovatix, LLC., subsidiaries of GNYHA Ventures, Inc.

iMedicor (PINKSHEETS: VMCI) today announced it is adding esMD (Electronic Submission of Medical Data) and HIH (Health Information Handler) technology and certifications to iMedicor's flagship service, the HIPAA-compliant Social Health Information Exchange (SocialHIE).

Lattice Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ: LSCC) today announced the immediate availability of Low Power, High Speed, and Mini Package additions to the highly successful LatticeECP3™ FPGA family.

Medgenics, Inc. (NYSE Amex: MDGN and AIM: MEDU, MEDG)
(the “Company”), the developer of a novel technology for the sustained production and delivery of therapeutic proteins in patients using their own tissue, today announced the addition of Nezam H. Afdhal, M.D., Chief of Hepatology, Director of Liver Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard School of Medicine; and Steven Fishbane, M.D., a distinguished nephrologist and widely published author in the field of renal anemia, to the Company’s Strategic Advisory Board (“SAB”).

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