) announced top-line results from the phase III LIGHT study
(n=214) on lesinurad. The phase III study is evaluating the
potential of lesinurad as a monotherapy in gout patients who were
unsuccessfully treated with one or both xanthine oxidase
inhibitors, Zyloprim (allopurinol) and Uloric (febuxostat).
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AstraZeneca is evaluating the candidate as a selective uric acid
re-absorption inhibitor (SURI) that inhibits the URAT1
transporter to normalize uric acid excretion and reduce serum
uric acid (sUA) levels. Results from the study revealed that the
proportion of patients under lesinurad met the sUA goal (<6.0
mg/dL) at six months compared to patients under placebo.
AstraZeneca further mentioned that patients under lesinurad, as
monotherapy, experienced serum creatinine elevations and renal
adverse events compared to those under placebo. Some of the
common adverse events experienced by the patients under lesinurad
monotherapy are diarrhoea, nausea and constipation.
We note that lesinurad is also being developed in three other
late-stage studies (CLEAR1, CLEAR2 and CRYSTAL) in combination
with xanthine oxidase inhibitors for the treatment of patients
suffering from tophaceous gout. AstraZeneca expects results from
these studies in mid 2014.
The company plans to make regulatory submissions for lesinurad in
both the U.S. and EU during the second half of next year. We
remind investors that lesinurad was added to AstraZeneca's
pipeline with the acquisition of Ardea Biosciences, Inc. In Jun
2012, AstraZeneca completed the acquisition of Ardea Biosciences
for approximately $1.26 billion or $32 per share. We expect
investor focus to remain on AstraZeneca's pipeline going forward.
AstraZeneca presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some
better-ranked stocks include
Johnson & Johnson
). While Jazz Pharma holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Bayer
and Johnson & Johnson carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).