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12:00 AM
 | 
Feb 27, 2012
 |  BioCentury  |  Product Development

Cartilage damage dilemma

Bad dog results for Karo Bio could hinder biotechs working on TR beta agonists

The unexpected finding of cartilage damage in a preclinical toxicity study of Karo Bio AB's eprotirome may make it hard for other companies working on thyroid hormone receptor beta agonists to find partners, unless further data reveal it is a compound rather than a class problem.

Earlier this month, Karo Bio said a 12-month toxicology study in dogs showed all animals receiving the highest dose of eprotirome had cartilage damage, as well as some dogs given lower doses of the compound. Control animals showed no damage.

As a result, Karo Bio stopped a Phase III trial of eprotirome to treat dyslipidemia and terminated development of the compound. Because eprotirome was the company's only clinical asset, Karo Bio also abandoned plans to spin out its preclinical operations (see BioCentury, Jan. 16).

The tox results were unexpected because a similar six-month study in dogs showed no cartilage damage, and neither did Phase I and II trials. However, the longest patients have been treated with eprotirome is 12 weeks.

"We simply do not know if this...

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