Thursday was a big day for biotechs, beginning with Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CBST) announcing plans to take an experimental antibiotic for the treatment of urinary tract and abdomen infections into late-stage clinical testing. Cubist said that trials for the drug, called CXA-201 will begin before the end of the year. According to the company, CXA-201 achieved its objectives in a midstage trial that assesed it as a remedy for complicated abdominal infections.
The last trial indicated a combination of the new drug with metronidazole, a treatment of anaerobic bacteria, mimicked the efficacy of Merrem, the anti-biotic currently on the market. 91 percent of the patients in the study were cured of their infections, a rate consistent with drugs currently on the market. Side-effects were also in line with other drugs for the treatment of abdominal infections.
Further bolstering enthusiasm for Cubist is the news that midstage trial studying a drug candidate for the treatment of bacteria induced diarrhea has also begun. Called CB-183,315 , the drug is being Vanconin, currently on the market for similar purposes. Cubist is currently determining whether it will advance CB 183,315 into late stage testing. Studies have indicated cure rates similar to Vancocin.
Cubist also has a third drug in its pipeline called, Dificid, which is designated for the treatment of of clostridium difficile infections. Cubist will be responsible only for the marketing of the drug, which was in fact developed by Optimer Pharmaceuticals Inc.(OPTR) and received FDA approval last month.
Currently, much of the revenue for Cubist comes from its namesake drug Cubicin, which treats extreme skin and blood infections. Sales of the drug have been increase steadily, reaching 153.7 million in the first three months of the year.
The completion of a drug trial also helped shares of NeurogesX Inc(NGSX) add more than 21 percent in morning trading. There company announced the close of Phase II clinical trials for its new topical formula of the pain reliever capsaicin. Later in the day; however, after the release of further details, shares were down 3 percent at close.
StemCells Inc. (STEM) shares continued a rally following their Wednesday announcement that a Phase I trial for HuCNS-SC cellular therapy has yielded optimistic results. The drug will be used as a treatment for Batten’s disease, a neurological disease that attacks children.
Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners Inc. (CPRX) has also seen successful early progress with its experimental infantile spasm treatment. An early-stage animal trial indicated Cpp-115, as the drug is currently called, reduced observed spasms fora period three times that of standard treatment. Catalyst, which traded higher on higher volume today said that the drug was hundreds of times more potent than the alternative currently on the market vigabatrin, and produced fewer side effects.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (REGN) has been the focus of cosniderabel market chatter of later while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers whether to approve the company’s opthmaology drug VEGF Trap-Eye. The FDA will make their decision after a scheduled meeting on Friday. A considerable drop in share prices, indicates doubt among investors the Trap-Eye will get the vote it needs. Trap-Eyes approval would be a major hit for Roche, whose own opthamology drug Lucentis would surely take a hit with the introduction of a new option to the market.
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