Sleep Apnea Syndromes

January 18, 2010

Vivus released positive results from a phase II trial of Qnexa for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This single-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel group trial (OB-204) enrolled 45 obese subjects who underwent a four-week dose titration followed by 24 weeks of additional treatment with full dose Qnexa or placebo. The primary endpoint was the change in apnea/hypopnea index (AHI) between baseline and Week 28. The AHI is a standard measure of OSA severity, indicating the number of apnea/hypopnea events per hour of sleep. The subjects treated with Qnexa had a 69% reduction in sleep apnea events. The number of apnea/hypopnea events was reduced from a mean of 46 events per hour of sleep to 14 hours, compared to a reduction from a mean 44 events per hour of sleep to 27 for the placebo arm (p<0.001). Secondary endpoints included weight loss, oxygen saturation and changes in blood pressure, were all reached with significant results over placebo.

April 21, 2008

BTG issued positive results from a phase II trial of BGC20-0166 for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This study enrolled thirty nine subjects with mild to severe OSA who received placebo, a single agent or one of two doses of BGC20-0166 daily for a period of twenty eight days. Each subject's apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) was measured in overnight sleep laboratory polysomnograph studies on days fourteen and twenty eight. The primary endpoint was a reduction in the AHI at day twenty eight. The treatment group receiving the high-dose demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in AHI compared to subjects receiving placebo at both day fourteen and twenty eight. AHI was reduced by a mean of 40% in this treatment group, with individual responses ranging between 10% and 85%. Three of ten subjects in the high-dose group were considered complete responders, with a reduction in AHI of 50% or more and an AHI below 10 at day twenty eight. This group also showed reduced AHI in both REM and non-REM sleep stages and independent of sleep position and a trend towards improved oxygen saturation levels relative to placebo. Treatment was well tolerated. Based on the results, BTG plans to continue with the development of BGC20-0166.

Genentech and Biogen released negative results from a phase II/III trial of Rituxan for the treatment of primary-progressive multiple sclerosis. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study enrolled four hundred and thirty nine subjects in the US and Canada. The subjects received either four treatment courses of Rituxan six months apart or placebo. MRI evaluations were conducted at baseline, weeks six, forty-eight, ninety-six and one hundred and twenty-two. The study did not meet its primary endpoint as measured by the time to confirmed disease progression during the ninety six-week treatment period. The incidence of overall adverse events was comparable between Rituxan and placebo treatment groups. The companies plan to fully analyze the data in order to determine the best path forward.

Santhera reported positive results from a phase II trial of SNT-MC17 for the treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). This double-blind, randomized, controlled study was dubbed DELPHI (Duchenne Efficacy Study In Long-Term Protocol Of High Dose Idebenone). A total of twenty-one pediatric subjects, aged eight to sixteen years, with DMD and cardiac dysfunction were enrolled in Belgium. The subjects received SNT-MC17 450 mg/day or placebo for twelve months. The primary endpoint was the percent change from baseline on the peak systolic radial strain of the left ventricular (LV) inferolateral cardiac wall. In the group treated with SNT-MC17, this was improved by 104%, a significant difference over the placebo group who improved by 29% (p=0.03). In addition, peak systolic longitudinal strain of the LV lateral-mid cardiac region also improved significantly, indicating a beneficial effect of SNT-MC17 on early and systolic myocardial dysfunction in DMD. Secondary endpoints included respiratory function tests. Direct measures of respiratory weakness, including peak expiratory flow, improved in subjects on SNT-MC17. Peak flow expressed as percentage of the predicted value for subjects on SNT-MC17 improved by 2.8% while those on placebo deteriorated by 8.5% (p=0.042). Treatment was determined to be safe and well tolerated. Additional phase II studies are currently underway.