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December 15, 2014

Orexo released results of a phase III trial of Zubsolv compared with Suboxone film during stabilization of patients with opioid dependence. The randomized, multicenter, non-inferiority clinical trial enrolled 758 patients in the maintenance phase of the study with either Zubsolv or Suboxone film. At day 15, Zubsolv patients switched to Suboxone film and those taking Suboxone film switched to Zubsolv. The co-primary endpoint was retention in treatment at day 15. On day 15, the number of patients who were retained in treatment were similar across the Zubsolv and Suboxone film arms (74.9% v. 74.4%, respectively, P=0.866). Despite an average 26% to 32% percent lower dose of buprenorphine in Zubsolv compared to that in Suboxone film used, Zubsolv showed comparable efficacy to Suboxone film, which may help reduce the potential for misuse. Zubsolv also demonstrated no increased rate of withdrawal symptoms or opioid cravings versus Suboxone film at day 15 and day 22. The safety profile of Zubsolv was similar to that of Suboxone film.

March 12, 2012

H Lundbeck released results from three phase III trials of nalmefene for the treatment of alcohol dependence. The trials enrolled 1,997 subjects. The first two placebo-controlled studies (ESENSE1 and ESENSE2) assessed the efficacy of 20 mg doses of nalmefene on excessive alcohol consumption and on the overall alcohol intake per month evaluated over six months. In the third study (SENSE), subjects were treated for 12 months to confirm the drug was well tolerated. The primary goal of ESENSE 1 and ESENSE 2 was to evaluate the efficacy of as-needed use of Selincro versus placebo in reducing the number of heavy drinking days (HDD) and the monthly total alcohol consumption (TAC) over a period of six months. The primary objective of SENSE was to evaluate the long-term safety and tolerability of Selincro over a period of 52 weeks, as well as the efficacy versus placebo at six months. In ESENSE 1 and ESENSE 2, Selincro was superior to placebo in reducing the number of HDDs (p<0.05 in both studies) and TAC (ESENSE 1, p<0.05; ESENSE 2, p≡0.088) at month six. In SENSE, Selincro was more efficacious than placebo (p<0.05) in reducing the number of HDDs and TAC at the majority of the time points and at the end of the study, although not at month six. Selincro was generally well tolerated over 52 weeks. The most frequent adverse events included dizziness, insomnia and nausea.

June 20, 2011

Biotie and H. Lundbeck reported initial results from three phase III trials of nalmefene for the treatment of alcohol dependence. The trials enrolled approximately 2,000 subjects. The first two studies (ESENSE1 and ESENSE2) assessed the efficacy of 20 mg doses of nalmefene on excessive alcohol consumption and on the overall alcohol intake per month in a treatment cycle of 24 weeks. In the third study, SENSE, the subjects were treated for 12 months to confirm drug safety and tolerability. In ESENSE1 and -2 all assessments were consistently in favor of nalmefene compared to placebo. Overall, nalmefene reduced heavy drinking days and total alcohol consumption by more than 50% compared to pre-treatment baseline. The effect was observed already during the first month of treatment and was maintained throughout the study period in the three trials. SENSE confirmed the safety, tolerability and efficacy. The most common adverse events were dizziness, insomnia and nausea and the treatment effect of nalmefene was maintained and improved after one year of treatment.

May 2, 2011

Pain Therapeutics reported results from a study of Remoxy, an oral abuse resistant formulation of oxycodone. The double blind, placebo and active-controlled, six-way crossover study enrolled 45 healthy subjects with histories of non-dependent recreational opioid use. The study assessed the abuse potential of Remoxy 40 mg whole and chewed, oxycodone ER 40 mg whole and crushed, oxycodone IR 40 mg crushed and placebo. Treatments were administered in-clinic under various fed/fast conditions that produced the highest bioavailability for each drug. Data are from 32 subjects. The primary endpoint was Drug Liking, as assessed by various pharmacodynamic parameters. Drug Liking was significantly lower for Remoxy 40mg (whole) compared with oxycodone ER 40mg (whole) or oxycodone IR 40 mg (p<0.05). Drug Liking was significantly lower for Remoxy 40mg (chewed) compared with oxycodone ER 40mg (crushed) or oxycodone IR 40 mg (p<0.05). Time to Peak Drug Liking was significantly delayed for Remoxy 40mg (chewed) compared with oxycodone ER 40mg (crushed) or oxycodone IR (p<0.05). Secondary endpoints, including Drug High and Good Effects, chewing duration, taste/texture assessments and safety assessments, were generally the same consistency of effects observed in the primary endpoints. In addition, no subject could chew Remoxy for more than 1.5 minutes despite an allotted time of ten minutes, due to the unpleasant taste/texture.

November 23, 2009

Alkermes reported positive results from a phase III trial of XR-NTX for the treatment of opioid dependence. This randomized, multi-center study enrolled 250 subjects who were dependent on opioids and who had recently been detoxified and abstinent from opioids for a minimum of seven days prior to treatment initiation. The subjects received once-monthly intramuscular injections of either XR-NTX or placebo in combination with counseling for six months. The primary efficacy endpoint was the response profile based on the rate of urine drug screens that were free of opioids during the last 20 weeks of the 24-week double-blind treatment period. Once-monthly XR-NTX demonstrated statistically significant higher rates of clean (opioid-free) urine screens, compared to placebo treatment, as measured by the cumulative distribution of clean urine screens (p<0.0002). All secondary efficacy endpoints were also reached. Data from the intent-to-treat analysis show that the median patient taking XR-NTX had 90% opioid-free urine screens during the evaluation phase of the study. Treatment with XR-NTX also resulted in a significant reduction in opioid craving compared to placebo. XR-NTX was generally well tolerated.

December 11, 2006

Somaxon reported negative results from a phase II/III trial of nalmefene for the treatment of pathological gambling. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, outpatient, multi-center trial enrolled 225 subjects, diagnosed as pathological gamblers, who received oral nalmefene (20 mg or 40 mg) or placebo. The primary endpoint, mean PG-YBOCS (Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale modified for Pathological Gambling) as measured at week twelve, was not met. Statistical significance was not seen between either of the treatment groups when compared to placebo. In addition, secondary endpoints were not reached in either dose group and elevation in liver enzymes was observed in some of the nalmefene-treated subjects. Somaxon plans to further assess this data and data from a phase II trial in order to determine a future course of action for nalmefene.

December 4, 2006

Pain Therapeutics reported positive results from a phase I trial of PTI-202, an abuse- resistant opioid painkiller. The trial was designed to assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles of a single, oral dose of PTI-202 in healthy subjects. Results revealed treatment to be safe and well tolerated, with no adverse events reported. Its release profile appears to be well-suited to use with a chronic pain population. Based on these results, Pain Therapeutics plans to move development of PTI-202 into phase II trials.

August 22, 2005

WEX Pharmaceuticals has announced results of a phase IIa trial of Tetrodin (tetrodotoxin), for the treatment of withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid dependence. Results from the study indicated that a 4-day pre-treatment regimen of the drug failed to attenuate withdrawal symptoms produced by administering naltrexone (an opioid receptor blocker) to methadone-maintained subjects. Safety results yielded a positive overall profile, and there was no indication of safety concerns resulting from interaction between Tetrodin and naltrexone. This double-blind, placebo-controlled study enrolled 14 subjects on stable methadone therapy, who received a regimen of 30 mcg Tetrodin or placebo via subcutaneous injection twice daily for 4 days, prior to initiation of withdrawal symptoms by naltrexone administration. Based on these results, the company announced that they were suspending development of Tetrodin, barring acquisition of additional funding or commencement of a licensing agreement.

April 11, 2005

Alkermes reported positive results of a phase III trial of Vivitrex (naltrexone long-acting injection), for the treatment of alcohol dependence. Data met their primary endpoint, producing a significant reduction in the incidence of heavy drinking vs. placebo (p=0.0245). Efficacy was also seen in a number of secondary endpoints in the highest dosing group, including reduction in median number of heavy drinking days per month (3, vs. 19 for placebo), and a reduction of heavy drinking (5 or more drinks per day for men, 4 or more for women) within the first month of treatment. Adverse events were generally mild and decreased over the course of treatment, with injection site reactions occurring most frequently. This multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial included 624 subjects with a history of alcohol dependence, who were randomized to receive once monthly injections of Vivitrex 380 mg (n=205), Vivitrex 190 mg (n=210), or a placebo (n=209) for 6 months, in addition to low-intensity supportive counseling.

October 4, 2004

Nabi Biopharmaceuticals issued positive phase II results for NicVAX, their nicotine conjugate vaccine for the promotion of smoking cessation. Preliminary results demonstrated that the drug was significantly efficacious in helping smokers quit, with 33% of subjects on the highest dosing regimen ceasing cigarette use, compared to 9% of subjects who received placebo treatments. The vaccine also yielded a significant reduction in consumption and nicotine dependence among non-quitters at its highest dose, compared with placebo. NicVAX treatment was safe and well tolerated. This double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study enrolled a total of 68 smokers, who received up to 4 injections of one of three doses of the drug or placebo over 182 days. Smoking cessation was confirmed by serum cotinine and carbon monoxide levels, and subjects received NicVAX treatments in the absence of any other pharmacological or behavioral therapies. NicVAX announced plans to advance the drug to late stage testing in the near future.

June 28, 2004

Xenova Group announced the combined results of two phase II trials of TA-CD, their vaccine candidate for abstinence initiation and relapse prevention in cocaine addiction. Results showed that the vaccine produced significant and moderately persistent anti-cocaine antibody response, and helped mitigate cocaine addiction by facilitating abstinence and limiting relapse. A total of 22 subjects enrolled in the two studies (9 in relapse prevention, 13 in abstinence initiation), who were treated with between three 100 µg and five 400 µg doses over 12 weeks. Maximum mean antibody response was observed 70-90 days post injection, and anti-cocaine antibodies persisted for at least 6 months. Over the 12 week study courses, relapse was prevented in 75% of subjects, and abstinence was initiated in 58%. At a 12 month follow-up observation, once antibody levels had dropped, no relapse-prevention subjects and 42% of abstinence-initiation subjects remained free from cocaine use.

June 21, 2004

Titan Pharmaceuticals reported positive results from a pilot study investigating Probuphine (buprenorphine) for the treatment of opiate addiction. Results showed subjects were successfully switched to Probuphine with maintenance of treatment benefit, including absence of significant withdrawal or craving. Data showed that Probuphine was safe and well tolerated with no significant adverse events. Pharmacokinetic data demonstrated a steady state serum buprenorphine concentration after a six-month treatment period. The open-label, pilot study enrolled 12 subjects with opiate-dependence, who were switched from daily sublingual buprenorphine to Probuphine. Subjects received 8mg or 16mg of subcutaneous buprenorphine daily. Results were reported at the 2004 Annual Meeting of the International Society of Addiction Medicine in Helsinki.

June 24, 2002

Purdue Pharma L.P. reported that additional studies would be required to more fully assess the safety and effectiveness of the company's oxycodone/naloxone product, which was developed to reduce abuse of OxyContin (oxycodone HCl). Recent phase I trials showed that the absorption or metabolism of naloxone was more variable than expected, which could potentially compromise pain relief in some patients. While the oxycodone/naloxone formulation could deter intravenous and possibly intranasal OxyContin abuse, it does not address oral abuse of the drug. NDA submission was originally planned for the end of 2002.

December 17, 2001

Alkermes reported positive results from a phase II trial of Vivitrex (Medisorb naltrexone), an injectable sustained-release formulation of naltrexone. The multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted at five treatment centers in the United States and Europe. The trial was designed to evaluate the safety and tolerability of intramuscular repeat dose administration of Vivitrex in 30 alcohol-dependent subjects, while also investigating outcomes related to drinking activity. Preliminary data after four treatment cycles suggested that Vivitrex plus psychosocial therapy produced a 50% reduction in heavy drinking days compared to placebo injections plus psychosocial therapy. Vivitrex was well tolerated throughout the trial.