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Other strategies for ARDS

In reviewing the pros and cons of fast-tracking a clinical program into pivotal studies, it seemed worthwhile to check on companies that, like The Liposome Co. Inc., have compounds in advanced testing in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS): Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp., Cell Therapeutics Inc., Icos Corp. and Transcend Therapeutics Inc. The first three companies, while not running extensive, multi-study Phase II programs, are all running larger Phase II studies than LIPO did. The fourth, Transcend, has run a more limited Phase II program.

Alliance Pharmaceutical (ALLP)

ALLP is testing LiquiVent in Phase III trials in pediatric ARDS patients and was to have started Phase II/III trials in adult ARDS this summer. However, ALLP's trials have been suspended due to a drop in mortality in the pediatric control group following a change in the primary end point and a broadening of patient inclusion criteria to enroll more patients (see BioCentury April 21). LiquiVent is a liquid perfluorochemical oxygen carrier heavier than water. Patients' lungs are filled with LiquiVent, which opens air sacs, and allows removal of debris and mucus.