BETHESDA, Md. and DEERFIELD, Ill. January 7, 2011– Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCMP) and Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc. today announced the dosing of the first patient in the third phase 3 clinical trial of lubiprostone for the treatment of opioid-induced bowel dysfunction (OBD) in subjects with chronic, non-cancer pain, excluding those taking methadone. The primary endpoint is an overall responder rate based on the change from baseline in the reported frequency of spontaneous bowel movements (SBMs).
M. Mazen Jamal, M.D., M.P.H., Chief of Endoscopy, Long Beach Veterans Affairs’ Medical Center, Long Beach, California, and Professor, Department of Medicine, University of California College of Medicine at Irvine, and an investigator in the trial, said, “Opioid-induced bowel dysfunction is a common, painful and debilitating side effect of opioid-based pain therapy. There is a significant need among patients for another therapeutic option to manage OBD.”
Gayle Dolecek, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Sucampo, said, “Based on previous data, we believe that lubiprostone has the potential to be U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved as an important new treatment option for patients suffering from OBD. We look forward to completing this study and to announcing its results.”
Sucampo plans to enroll a total of 420 patients at up to 140 sites in the U.S. and Europe. Patients will be randomized to receive either placebo or lubiprostone 24 mcg gel capsule twice daily throughout the 12- week treatment period. Patients must have been treated for chronic, non-cancer related pain with any opioid other than methadone for at least 30 days prior to screening, and will continue opioid therapy throughout the study. Patients must have OBD, which is defined as having an average of fewer than three SBMs per week during the three-week screening period with hard or very hard stools, sensation of incomplete evacuation, or moderate to very severe straining with at least 25% of their SBMs while on opioid-based therapy.
About Opioid-induced Bowel Dysfunction (OBD)
OBD comprises a variety of gastrointestinal conditions inclusive of severe constipation brought on by the use of opioid-based medications such as morphine and codeine. Unlike opioid-induced constipation, OBD is a constellation of adverse gastrointestinal effects characterized by infrequent and incomplete bowel movements, hard stool consistency, straining associated with bowel movements and abdominal discomfort/pain and bloating. In addition to a delay in intestinal transit, the reduction in secretion, upregulation of water and absorption of electrolytes in the gut may contribute to the constipating effects of opioids.
Opioids are indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. Constipation is a very common side effect of opioids, and is unlikely to go away without treatment. Despite their pain-relieving efficacy, opioids are known to produce gastrointestinal effects that lead to OBD, including inhibition of large intestine motility, decreased gastric emptying and hard stools. Currently, there are no FDA-approved, orally administered products that are indicated for the treatment of OBD. As a result, patients frequently must discontinue opioid therapy and endure pain in order to obtain relief from OBD.
AMITIZA® (lubiprostone) is co-marketed in the US by Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.
About AMITIZA for Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation (IBS-C)
AMITIZA is indicated for the treatment of CIC (24 mcg twice daily) in adults and for IBS-C (8 mcg twice daily) in women >18 years of age and older.
In clinical trials of AMITIZA (24 mcg twice daily vs. placebo: N=1113 vs. N=316) in patients with CIC, AMITIZA reached the primary endpoint of the change from baseline in the mean number of SBMs, with statistical significance. These data demonstrated that AMITIZA increased the range of the number of spontaneous bowel movements (SBMs) in the treatment arms from 1.37 to 3.71-4.34 in Study SC0131 and 1.28 to 3.69-4.64 in Study SC0232, respectively. In the placebo arms of those studies, the range of SBMs went from 1.47 to 1.39-2.02 and from 1.52 to 1.85-2.47 in Study SC0131 and SC0232, respectively.
In clinical trials of AMITIZA (8 mcg twice daily vs. placebo: N=1011 vs. N=435) in patients with IBS-C, AMITIZA again met the primary endpoint, the percentage of overall responders in drug vs. placebo, with statistical significance. These data demonstrated that AMITIZA-treated patients in Study 431 responded to treatment at a higher rate (13.8% vs. 7.8%) or a 76% response rate over placebo rate. In Study 432, AMITIZA-treated patients responded to treatment at a similarly high rate (12.1% vs. 5.7%) or 112% response rate over placebo rate. In trials designed to minimize the placebo effect, verum response rates were 76% and 112% over reported placebo rates in two separate, well-controlled, intent-to-treat pivotal trials. The trial designs were required by the FDA to minimize the placebo effect which is common in gastrointestinal studies and these particular treatment populations.
Important Safety Information
AMITIZA is contraindicated in patients with known or suspected mechanical gastrointestinal obstruction. Patients with symptoms suggestive of mechanical gastrointestinal obstruction should be thoroughly evaluated by the treating healthcare provider to confirm the absence of such an obstruction prior to initiating AMITIZA treatment.
The safety of AMITIZA in pregnancy has not been evaluated in humans. AMITIZA should be used during pregnancy only if the benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Women who could become pregnant should have a negative pregnancy test prior to beginning therapy with AMITIZA and should be capable of complying with effective contraceptive measures.
Patients taking AMITIZA may experience nausea. If this occurs, concomitant administration of food with AMITIZA may reduce symptoms of nausea. Patients who experience severe nausea should inform their healthcare provider.
AMITIZA should not be prescribed to patients that have severe diarrhea. Patients should be aware of the possible occurrence of diarrhea during treatment and inform their healthcare provider if the diarrhea becomes severe.
Patients taking AMITIZA may experience dyspnea within an hour of first dose. This symptom generally resolves within three hours, but may recur with repeat dosing. Patients who experience dyspnea should inform their healthcare provider. Some patients have discontinued therapy because of dyspnea.
In clinical trials of AMITIZA (24 mcg twice daily vs. placebo: N=1113 vs. N=316) in patients with CIC, the most common adverse reactions (incidence >4%) were nausea (29% vs. 3%), diarrhea (12% vs. 1%), headache (11% vs. 5%), abdominal pain (8% vs. 3%), abdominal distention (6% vs. 2%), and flatulence (6% vs. 2%).
In clinical trials of AMITIZA (8 mcg twice daily vs. placebo: N=1011 vs. N=435) in patients with IBS-C, the most common adverse reactions (incidence >4%) were nausea (8% vs. 4%), diarrhea (7% vs. 4%), and abdominal pain (5% vs. 5%).
Please see complete Prescribing Information at www.amitiza.com.
About Sucampo Pharmaceuticals
Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an international biopharmaceutical company based in Bethesda, Maryland, focuses on the development and commercialization of medicines based on prostones. The therapeutic potential of prostones, which occur naturally in the human body as a result of enzymatic (15-PGDH) transformation of certain fatty acids, was first identified by Ryuji Ueno, MD, PhD, PhD, Sucampo Pharmaceuticals’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Ueno founded Sucampo Pharmaceuticals in 1996 with Sachiko Kuno, PhD, founding Chief Executive Officer and currently Advisor, International Business Development and a member of the Board of Directors. For more information about Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, please visit www.sucampo.com.
AMITIZA is a registered trademark of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
About Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc. and Takeda Global Research & Development Center, Inc.
Based in Deerfield, Ill., Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc. and Takeda Global Research & Development Center, Inc. are subsidiaries of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan. The respective companies currently market oral diabetes, insomnia, rheumatology and gastroenterology treatments and seek to bring innovative products to patients through a pipeline that includes compounds in development for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, gastroenterology, neurology and other conditions. To learn more about these Takeda companies, visit www.tpna.com.
Sucampo Forward-Looking Statements
Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Sucampo Pharmaceuticals are forward-looking statements made under the provisions of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the words “project,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “expect,” “estimate,” “intend,” “should,” “would,” “could,” “will,” ”may” or other similar expressions. Forward-looking statements include statements about the potential utility of AMITIZA and Rescula to treat particular indications and expected data availability dates. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including those described in Sucampo Pharmaceuticals’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including the annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009 and other periodic reports filed with the SEC. Any forward-looking statements in this press release represent Sucampo Pharmaceuticals’ views only as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Sucampo Pharmaceuticals anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause its views to change. However, while Sucampo Pharmaceuticals may elect to update these forward-looking statements publicly at some point in the future, Sucampo Pharmaceuticals specifically disclaims any obligation to do so, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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Elissa J. Johnsen
Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America