Monday, March 13, 2000
Three small companies last week moved products into Phase III
testing: Aeterna Laboratories Inc.'s Neovastat (AE-941) angiogenesis inhibitor
to treat renal cell carcinoma, Cellegy Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s Anogesic nitroglycerin
to treat chronic anal fissures and Genta Inc.'s G3139 antisense agent against
Bcl-2 to treat malignant melanoma. However, based on experience to date with
the compounds, it is not clear how much risk has been taken out prior to Phase
In CLGY's previous 304-patient Phase III trial, Anogesic failed
to meet its primary end point of complete fissure healing, as 44 percent of
treated patients had a complete cure at the most effective dose while a similar
percentage of placebo patients also were cured (see BioCentury, Dec. 6, 1999).
In that trial, Anogesic did show a significantly greater rate of decrease in
pain versus placebo (p<0.0002), a secondary end point.