Santarus Announces Initiation of Phase IIIb Study with UCERIS in Patients with Mild or Moderate Active Ulcerative Colitis.
UCERIS 9 mg to be evaluated as add-on therapy to oral 5-ASA drugs
SAN DIEGO -- Santarus, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNTS) today announced that it has begun patient enrollment in a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase IIIb clinical study with the investigational drug UCERIS[TM] (budesonide) tablets 9 mg to evaluate whether there is an incremental benefit when UCERIS 9 mg is added to current oral aminosalicylate (5-ASA) therapy for patients with mild or moderate active ulcerative colitis who are not adequately controlled on background 5-ASA therapy.
The Phase IIIb study will evaluate patients with mild or moderate active ulcerative colitis who continue using their current 5-ASA treatment regimen and for an 8 week period add either UCERIS 9 mg or placebo administered once daily. The primary endpoint of the study will be remission at week 8, defined as an Ulcerative Colitis Disease Activity Index (UCDAI) score of less than or equal to 1, with a zero score for rectal bleeding, stool frequency and mucosal appearance. The company expects to enroll approximately 500 patients, with 250 in each treatment arm, at approximately 120 clinical sites, with more than 50 percent of the sites in the U.S. and the remainder in Canada and Europe.
"After consulting with key opinion leaders in gastroenterology, we concluded that as the treatment paradigm for ulcerative colitis continues to evolve evaluating UCERIS as an add-on therapy is an important indication to explore," said Wendell Wierenga, Ph.D., executive vice president of research and development at Santarus. "We expect to complete patient enrollment in the Phase IIIb study in the first half of 2013."
Santarus submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2011 seeking market approval for UCERIS 9 mg for the induction of remission of mild or moderate active ulcerative colitis.
About UCERIS (budesonide) tablets
UCERIS is an investigational drug that is a locally acting (non-systemic) corticosteroid in a novel, patented, oral tablet formulation, which utilizes proprietary MMX([R]) multi-matrix system technology and is designed to result in the controlled release and distribution of budesonide throughout the length of the colon. Budesonide has topical anti-inflammatory activity and due to an extended first pass effect, has less systemic absorption than other corticosteroids.
About Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that produces inflammation and ulcers along the inside of the colon. The inflammation can interfere with the normal function of the colon, often causing cramping, bloating, diarrhea, bleeding, fatigue, weight loss and frequent bowel movements, which may also strongly affect quality of life. According to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, IBD affects an estimated 1.4 million Americans.
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic relapsing-remitting illness for which there is no known cure, but with appropriate treatment patients can manage their symptoms. However, it is estimated that up to 30% of patients with mild or moderate ulcerative colitis require add-on therapy to 5-ASA drugs. Patients refractive to treatment with 5-ASA drugs typically receive a course of an oral, systemically absorbed corticosteroid, the success of which may be limited by significant side effects. For moderate or severe cases of ulcerative colitis, immunosuppressant drugs or biologic drugs may be prescribed. If the condition does not respond to pharmaceutical therapy and the symptoms are severe, the patient may be referred for surgery.
Santarus, Inc. is a specialty biopharmaceutical company focused on acquiring, developing and commercializing proprietary products that address the needs of patients treated by physician specialists. The company's current commercial efforts are focused on GLUMETZA([R]) (metformin hydrochloride extended release tablets) and CYCLOSET([R]) (bromocriptine mesylate) tablets, which are indicated as adjuncts to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes, and on FENOGLIDE([R]) (fenofibrate) tablets, which is indicated as an adjunct to diet to reduce high cholesterol.
Santarus also has a diverse pipeline, including three investigational drugs in late-stage clinical development: UCERIS([TM]) (budesonide) tablets for induction of remission of active ulcerative colitis, RHUCIN([R]) (recombinant human C1 inhibitor) for treatment of acute attacks of hereditary angioedema and rifamycin SV MMX([R]) for treatment of travelers' diarrhea, in addition to other earlier-stage development programs. More information about Santarus is available at www.santarus.com.
Santarus cautions you that statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts are forward-looking statements. The inclusion of forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by Santarus that any of its plans or objectives will be achieved. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in this release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in Santarus' business, including, without limitation: whether the UCERIS Phase IIIb clinical study will be completed in a timely manner with a positive outcome; whether the FDA accepts the UCERIS NDA for filing; whether, if the NDA is accepted for filing, Santarus obtains regulatory approval for UCERIS in a timely manner or at all, including whether the FDA agrees with the statistical analysis plan for the UCERIS Phase III studies, the clinical interpretation of the results and the conduct of the studies and whether the extended use study, which evaluated UCERIS 6 mg, provides adequate data to support approval of UCERIS 9 mg; whether the FDA requires completion of additional clinical studies or other development programs before approving UCERIS; risks associated with the collaboration with Cosmo Technologies Limited relating to the MMX product candidates, including the potential for termination of the collaboration; competition from other products; unexpected adverse side effects or inadequate therapeutic efficacy of Santarus' products and product candidates; the scope and validity of patent protection for Santarus' products and product candidates; and other difficulties or delays relating to the development, testing, manufacturing and marketing of, and obtaining and maintaining regulatory approvals for, Santarus' products and product candidates; and other risks detailed in Santarus' prior press releases as well as in prior public periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and Santarus undertakes no obligation to revise or update this news release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Santarus ([R] ), FENOGLIDE ([R] ) and UCERIS ([TM] ) are trademarks of Santarus, Inc. MMX ([R] ) is a registered trademark of Cosmo Technologies Limited. GLUMETZA ([R] )is a registered trademark of Biovail Laboratories International S.r.l. licensed exclusively in the United States to Depomed, Inc. CYCLOSET ([R] ) is a registered trademark of VeroScience LLC. RHUCIN ([R] ) is a registered trademark of Pharming Group NV. Any other trademarks in this press release are the property of their respective owners.