Sunday, June 17, 2012

Positive Results of Diltiazem from Fissure Trial

Ventrus Biosciences Inc. reported positive results from its Phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of diltiazem hydrochloride cream (VEN 307) in patients with anal fissures.

Ventrus' development partner, S.L.A. Pharma, has completed most of the outputs for the statistical analysis plan of the Phase 3 trial, and Ventrus is pleased to communicate the data that they have generated.

The Phase 3 study randomized 465 subjects to diltiazem hydrochloride 4% or 2% w/w cream, or placebo, applied topically three times daily (TID) for 8 weeks, followed by a 4 week blinded observation period. Both 4% and 2% diltiazem treatment arms demonstrated significant improvements compared to placebo in the primary endpoint of average of worst anal pain associated with or following defecation (pain score improvement 0.44, p=0.0108, 4%; 0.43, p=0.0134, 2%) and in the secondary endpoints of overall anal-fissure-related pain (pain score 0.36, p=0.030, 4%; 0.40, p=0.0183, 2%) and anal fissure healing (32.7%, p=0.0181, 4%; 31.2%, p=0.0359, 2%). Pain endpoints were assessed using an 11-point numerical pain rating scale (Likert-like scale).

Adverse events (AEs) were similar for the three treatment arms. Gastrointestinal Disorders were the most common. Reports of headaches were similar in the three arms (14.7% of 4% diltiazem, 12.3% of 2% diltiazem, and 14.2% of placebo). There was one serious adverse event of surgery for hemorrhoid reported in this trial. The study was conducted in 31 centers in Europe by S.L.A. Pharma, the product candidate's licensor. Ventrus holds rights to diltiazem hydrochloride cream in North America.

Based on these results, Ventrus will request a meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss the Phase 3 diltiazem study, as well as steps to move forward toward a New Drug Application (NDA). Because diltiazem is approved in oral formulations for the treatment of angina and high blood pressure, it is eligible for the FDA's 505(b)2 registration pathway. The Company is also preparing to initiate a second pivotal Phase 3 study of VEN 307 in anal fissures in the second half of 2012.

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