Thursday, August 26, 2010

FDA approves Chelsea Therapeutics' Phase II protocol for CH-4051 antifolate in rheumatoid arthritis

Chelsea Therapeutics International, Ltd. announced the  confirmation by the U.S. FDA,  that its proposed Phase II protocol for CH-4051  in rheumatoid arthritis has been approved by the agency. Chelsea plans to initiate patient screening next month and initiating treatment in October.

This multi-national, double-blind, randomized Phase II trial of CH-4051, an orally available metabolically stable antifolate, is intended to evaluate the safety and efficacy of CH-4051 in a 250-patient head-to-head study against methotrexate (MTX). Patients with rheumatoid arthritis who are experiencing an inadequate response to MTX treatment will be randomized to receive daily oral doses of 0.3 mg, 1.0 mg, 3.0 mg or 3.0 mg plus folate of CH-4051 or 20 mg weekly dose of MTX plus folate supplement for 12 weeks following a two-week MTX-washout. The primary efficacy analysis will be conducted using the hybrid American College of Rheumatology, or ACR, score (hACR), which allows for a more comprehensive assessment of treatment benefit across all seven symptomatic and functional components of the standard ACR 20/50/70 evaluations historically used in RA trials.

"Although MTX is considered the standard of care in RA, both as a monotherapy and in combination with other RA treatments, the dosing and maximal therapeutic benefit of MTX is limited by well-documented tolerability issues, long-term safety concerns and variable bioavailability," commented Dr. Simon Pedder, president and CEO of Chelsea Therapeutics. "Given that CH-4051 is metabolically stable and that all of our preclinical and clinical work suggests enhanced absorption, dramatically increased potency and improved tolerability over MTX, we believe CH-4051 will be safe and highly efficacious in a historically treatment-resistant patient population."

Chelsea intends to conduct an un-blinded interim efficacy analysis after approximately 50% of patients in the two lower CH-4051 dose groups complete treatment and expect to report results from this analysis in the third quarter of 2011. Full study results, inclusive of all dose groups, are expected in mid-2012.

As previously reported, results from Chelsea's Phase I single and multiple ascending dose studies demonstrated that CH-4051 was well tolerated at doses up to and including 7.5mg, a dose range likely to be effective for multiple autoimmune disorders. The 5mg dose was as well tolerated as placebo. No serious adverse events occurred during the study and pharmacokinetic data indicated dose proportionate increases in plasma levels of CH-4051. Furthermore, it was revealed that plasma concentrations in the study were comparable to those seen in animal pharmacology studies in which CH-4051 demonstrated superior suppression of RA than both the maximally tolerated dose of methotrexate and equivalent doses of CH-1504 (see structure)....

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