Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) and Active Biotech (Nasdaq: ACTI; Stockholm: ACTI) today announced the discontinuation of higher doses of Laquinimod in two ongoing studies in multiple sclerosis (MS), after the occurrence of cardiovascular events, none of which was fatal, in eight patients.
The curtailment of the trial follows the recommendation of the data monitoring committee (DMC) overseeing two active clinical studies in MS. The DMC identified an imbalance in the number of cardiovascular events in the studies. Seven events were observed in patients receiving laquinimod daily at 1.2mg for treatment of relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) in the CONCERTO trial. No events occurred in the 0.6mg or placebo groups. CONCERTO has 2,199 patients with 3,070 years of patient experience. One event was observed in the 1.5mg daily-dose arm of the ARPEGGIO trial in primary-progressive MS (PPMS). ARPEGGIO has enrolled 191 patients and has 35 years of patient experience. Teva is notifying trial sites to discontinue the higher doses immediately in both trials and will encourage participants to continue follow ups.
Both trials, CONCERTO and ARPEGGIO, are continuing the lower-dose arms (0.6mg daily), and participants in the trials will be provided with an update to confirm re-consent for participation. The DMC did not identify a cardiovascular signal with the lower dose but recommended long-term monitoring. Teva has completed large trials and is conducting long-term extension studies at the 0.6mg dose currently without cardiovascular concerns.
Through a licensing agreement, Teva has global rights to develop and commercialize Laquinimod, a small-molecule entity discovered by Active Biotech.
Laquinimod is a once-daily oral, investigational, CNS-active drug with a novel mechanism of action being developed for the treatment of relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), primary-progressive MS (PPMS) and Huntington disease.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 4, 2016
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