Teva and Active Biotech to Initiate Pivotal Phase III Trial Program of Oral Laquinimod for Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis
JERUSALEM & LUND, Sweden--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NASDAQ: TEVA) and Active Biotech AB (OMX NORDIC: ACTI) today announced that the companies are initiating a clinical Phase III program for laquinimod, a novel once-daily, orally administered immunomodulatory compound for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS). The studies will now begin following the successful conclusion of a second phase II study and the outcome of discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA).
“The accelerated development of oral laquinimod is part of our commitment to MS patients to develop additional improved therapies that combine superior efficacy and excellent safety.”
The companies are to commence two global Phase III trials of laquinimod during this year. The Phase III trials will take place in centers in the United States, Europe, and other locations worldwide, to further confirm the results of the Phase II trials.
“We are extremely excited about initiating the Phase III clinical program for oral laquinimod, as we believe laquinimod is a potential new and convenient treatment option for MS patients,” said Shlomo Yanai, President and CEO of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. “The accelerated development of oral laquinimod is part of our commitment to MS patients to develop additional improved therapies that combine superior efficacy and excellent safety.”
“Laquinimod has the potential to be a novel, orally-administered disease modifying treatment for people suffering from multiple sclerosis,” said Sven Andréasson, President and CEO of Active Biotech. “Laquinimod would represent a milestone for patients as it would provide them with an efficacious and safe treatment, as well as a new drug delivery option that is suitable for long-term treatment.”
About Phase II Laquinimod Trials
Results from a 36-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase IIb trial evaluating the effect of oral daily 0.3 and 0.6 mg doses of laquinimod on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) -monitored disease activity in patients with RRMS were recently presented at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting in May, 2007. Data from the trial demonstrated that an oral 0.6 mg dose of laquinimod given daily significantly reduced MRI disease activity by 40 percent in RRMS patients and was well tolerated. In addition, there was a favorable trend towards reducing annual relapse rates, the number of relapse-free patients and time to first relapse compared with placebo. Treatment with both 0.3 and 0.6 mg doses of laquinimod were well tolerated with only some transient and dose-dependent increases in liver enzymes.
A previous 24-week Phase IIa trial conducted by Active Biotech demonstrated that oral 0.3 mg laquinimod given daily was well tolerated and reduced the formation of active lesions in RRMS.
Laquinimod is a novel once-daily, orally administered immunomodulatory compound that is being developed as a disease modifying treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). Active Biotech developed laquinimod and licensed it to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd. in June 2004. To date, 460 MS patients have received laquinimod in various clinical trials.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the leading cause of neurological disability in young adults. It is estimated that 400,000 people in the United States are affected by this disease, and that over one million people are affected worldwide. MS is a progressive, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system affecting the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.
Patients with MS may experience physical symptoms and/or cognitive impairments, including weakness, fatigue, ataxia, physical dysfunction, bladder and bowel problems, sensory effects, and visual impairment. MS also has a significant impact on the sufferers' social functioning and overall quality of life.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.(NASDAQ: TEVA), headquartered in Israel, is among the top 20 pharmaceutical companies in the world and is the leading generic pharmaceutical company. The company develops, manufactures and markets generic and innovative human pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients, as well as animal health pharmaceutical products. Over 76 percent of Teva's sales are in North America and Europe. Teva’s innovative R&D focuses on developing novel drugs, primarily for diseases of the central nervous system.
About Active Biotech
Active Biotech AB (OMX NORDIC: ACTI) is a biotechnology company focusing on research and development of pharmaceuticals. Active Biotech has a strong R&D portfolio with pipeline products focused on autoimmune/inflammatory diseases and cancer. Most advanced projects are laquinimod, an orally administered small molecule with unique immunomodulatory properties for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, as well as ANYARA for use in cancer targeted therapy, the primary indication being renal cancer. Further key projects in clinical development comprise the three orally administered compounds TASQ for prostate cancer, 57-57 for SLE and RhuDex® for RA. In addition, the preclinical development of the I-3D project is being conducted in cooperation with Chelsea Therapeutics International Ltd.
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