) recently announced that partner
) has returned all rights to the former's pipeline candidate
vercirnon. ChemoCentryx will now be responsible for developing
vercirnon for all indications including inflammatory bowel
disease and Crohn's disease.
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We note that in Aug 06, ChemoCentryx entered into a worldwide
strategic agreement with Glaxo for vercirnon. Two other
candidates, CCX354 (rheumatoid arthritis) and CCX168 (ANCA
vasculitis), were also part of the agreement.
We remind investors that last month, vercirnon failed to meet
both the primary and the key secondary endpoint in the SHIELD-1
phase III study (first of four phase III studies). Glaxo was
evaluating the use of vercirnon in adults suffering from
moderately-to-severely active Crohn's disease.
The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 12-week study
evaluated vercirnon in two doses (500 mg once daily and 500 mg
twice daily) versus placebo in Crohn's disease patients. Not only
did vercirnon fail to show significant clinical response and
clinical remission (reduction or disappearance of symptoms) at 12
weeks, a direct correlation was found between dosage strength of
vercirnon and overall adverse event rates. Adverse events and
withdrawals of patients receiving vercirnon were similar to that
in the placebo arm.
The phase III development program includes four studies
(SHIELD-1, SHIELD-2, SHIELD-3 and SHIELD-4), aimed to evaluated
the safety and efficacy of vercirnon in more than 2,500
moderately-to-severely active Crohn's disease patients.
ChemoCentryx will now get all data from the SHIELD studies from
Glaxo to further asses the candidate.
ChemoCentryx presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Meanwhile,
companies such as
Biogen Idec Inc.
) look better positioned with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).