Acacia Pharma Initiates Phase II Study With APD403 in Chemotherapy Induced Nausea & Vomiting (CINV)
CAMBRIDGE, England, October 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –
Acacia Pharma, a pharmaceutical company specialising in the development of drugs for
supportive care, announces the initiation of a Phase II study of APD403 in the prevention
of chemotherapy-induced nausea & vomiting (CINV). CINV remains a clinically significant
problem in cancer patients receiving emetogenic chemotherapy despite the availability of a
range of anti-emetic medications.
CINV occurs in approximately 70% of all cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and in
90% of those receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC). It is one of the major side
effects of cancer therapy and a considerable concern for patients. There are two major
types of CINV, referred to as acute CINV which occurs on the day of treatment, and delayed
CINV which occurs up to five days following chemotherapy. Despite the improvements in
managing CINV there remains a clear unmet need to reduce the incidence of nausea,
especially in delayed CINV, as standard regimens are relatively effective at stopping
patients being sick (vomiting) but much less so at stopping them feeling sick (nausea),
which is often the most distressing symptom.
The Phase II study is taking place in around 25 major centres in the UK, Denmark,
Germany and the USA and aims to recruit 315 cancer patients receiving HEC. The trial
compares 3 doses of APD403 against placebo in the delayed phase of CINV. The primary
endpoint is no vomiting or retching and no requirement for anti-emetic rescue medication
for 5 days after the start of chemotherapy administration. The incidence and severity of
nausea is being studied as a secondary endpoint.
Acacia Pharma has previously generated positive Phase IIa clinical data when the drug
was given prophylactically to cancer patients being treated with the HEC, cisplatin. These
data showed APD403 has the potential to be an effective anti-emetic, particularly
controlling nausea, the major unmet need.
Dr Gabriel Fox, Acacia Pharma’s Chief Medical Officer commented: “We are delighted to
be working with an outstanding international group of investigators, including some of the
world’s leading authorities on CINV. Our clinical sites are highly enthusiastic about
investigating this promising potential addition to the anti-emetic armamentarium.”
Acacia Pharma’s CEO, Dr Julian Gilbert, added: “CINV is an incredibly debilitating
condition. Although significant advances have been made in the management of vomiting,
nausea remains a major issue. We believe APD403 is a good anti-vomiting agent and an
excellent anti-nauseant, thereby having the potential to make a significant contribution
to cancer care.”
APD403 contains the currently marketed dopamine D2 /D3 antagonist amisulpride for the
new, patent-protected, use of management of CINV. The active ingredient is also being
developed as APD421 for the prevention of post-operative nausea & vomiting (PONV), with
two pivotal Phase III clinical studies having been initiated recently.
About Acacia Pharma
Acacia Pharma (http://www.acaciapharma.com) is a pharmaceutical company focused on
cancer supportive care, a rapidly developing commercial opportunity. The growth in the
cancer supportive care market has been driven by the increasing incidence of cancer, the
expansion of effective cancer therapies and the desire to improve both the effectiveness
of treatment and the quality of life of cancer patients.
Acacia Pharma has generated a pipeline of product opportunities addressing a range of
supportive care indications such as nausea & vomiting, xerostomia (dry mouth) and cachexia
(muscle wasting) using a commercially driven approach to product discovery based on known
drugs. This strategy leads to product opportunities with a higher probability of success
and enables rapid clinical proof-of concept. In addition, Acacia Pharma’s products are
expected to reach the market quickly given that they are based on the novel use of
Acacia Pharma is led by an experienced management team who have already successfully
built and exited a number of life sciences companies. Management, Gilde Healthcare,
Lundbeckfond Ventures, Novo A/S and Fidelity Biosciences are the Company’s key
shareholders. Acacia Pharma is based in Cambridge, UK.
SOURCE Acacia Pharma