Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd.
) shares jumped 13.51% after the company announced encouraging data
from a phase III study on Xifaxan (rifaximin) 550 mg. The
randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled TARGET 3 study
evaluated the efficacy and safety of repeat treatment with Xifaxan
550 mg (three times daily) for 14 days in patients suffering from
diarrhea predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D), who
responded to initial treatment with Xifaxan 550 mg.
In the study it was observed that the use of Xifaxan 550 mg
resulted in a statistically significant In the study, it was
observed that the use of Xifaxan 550 mg resulted in a statistically
significant higher number of patients responding to treatment
compared to placebo. We are positive on the encouraging IBS-D data,
which should support the company's label expansion efforts related
to the drug.
Salix had received a complete response letter from the FDA for
Xifaxan 550 for non-constipation IBS and IBS-related bloating
indication in Mar 2011. Encouraging data from the TARGET 3 study
increases the chances of the drug getting approval for the
indication this time around.
We note that several companies including
Furiex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) are developing candidates targeting the underserved IBS-D
We note that Xifaxan 550 mg is already approved for reduction in
risk of overt hepatic encephalopathy (HE) recurrence in adults.
Apart from that, Xifaxan 200 mg is approved for the treatment of
patients 12 years of age and older with travelers' diarrhea caused
by non-invasive strains of E coli. In the first quarter of 2014,
Xifaxan posted sales of $114.3 million (prescription growth: 19%
year over year) and is one of the key growth drivers at Salix.
Salix is also looking to develop a delayed release version of
rifaximin for Crohn's disease. The company plans to initiate a
phase III program shortly. Meanwhile, Salix is enrolling patients
for a phase II study to evaluate the use of rifaximin soluble solid
dispersion formulation for prevention of complications in
compensated liver cirrhosis. Enrollment is expected to complete by
Salix is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. Some better-ranked stocks
in the health care sector include
Horizon Pharma, Inc.
The Medicines Company
), both with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research?
Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days.
Click to get this free report
SALIX PHARM-LTD (SLXP): Free Stock Analysis
HORIZON PHARMA (HZNP): Free Stock Analysis
MEDICINES CO (MDCO): Free Stock Analysis Report
FURIEX PHARMACT (FURX): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.