* Cuts uric acid levels in combination with standard drug
* Combination of drugs more effective than standard care
* Plans to start 200-patient study in early 2011
Sept 16 BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc (BCRX.O)
said a mid-stage study showed a combination of its experimental
gout treatment and a standard drug was superior to the standard
drug alone in reducing uric acid levels in blood, the main
cause of gout.
The study evaluated the uric acid-lowering activity and
safety of several doses of the drug, BCX4208, alone and in
combination with selected doses of the standard drug,
allopurinol, administered once-daily.
The company said 87 gout patients either received BCX4208
at daily doses of 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg alone, or in
combination with allopurinol at daily doses of 100 mg, 200 mg
and 300 mg.
The doses of BCX4208 alone and in combination with
allopurinol were generally safe and well-tolerated, BioCryst
The company is now finalizing the plans for a 12-week study
of BCX4208 as an add-on therapy in gout patients who have
failed to adequately respond to allopurinol.
"We look forward to starting this study in early 2011 and
plan to enroll over 200 patients," Chief Medical Officer
William Sheridan said in a statement.
On Tuesday, U.S. health regulators approved the use of
Savient Pharmaceuticals Inc's SVNT.O gout drug in adults who
do not respond to other treatments or cannot take alternatives
for various reasons. [ID:nSGE68E0FS]
Other U.S. companies developing gout treatments are
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (REGN.O) and Ardea Biosciences
Inc RDEA.O. Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG NOVN.VX is also
developing a treatment for gout.
About 5 million Americans suffer from gout, in which a
build up of uric acid causes swollen joints.
Shares of Birmingham, Alabama-based BioCryst closed at
$5.10 Wednesday on Nasdaq. They have lost 16 percent since the
company reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss on Aug.
(Reporting by Esha Dey in Bangalore; Editing by Vinu