An OASIS trial for etrasimod by Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) Inc has reported positive top-line Phase 2 results. The trial was evaluating the effectiveness of the investigational drug usually administered orally and once daily in the treatment of ulcerative colitis (UC). The results revealed considerable improvements in patients receiving the 2 mg dose of etrasimod compared to those who received placebo. The comparison was on primary, all secondary, and clinical remission endpoints.
According to the Professor of Medicine and Chief, William Sandborn the results were impressive given that they demonstrated significant efficacy. There was also a notable endoscopic improvement in what history has been referring to as mucosal healing. Liver function tests were also very few compared to placebo and neither were there reports of macular edema or pulmonary function test irregularities.
Arena has the conviction in internally discovered and developed compounds
Arena’s focus is on the development of novel, small molecule drugs designed to deliver clinical utility across multiple therapeutic areas. Thus the positive results from the Phase 2 trial are in support of the company’s big plans.
The Executive Vice President, Research, and Development, Preston Klassen notes, “We believe these data support proceeding to a Phase 3 program in ulcerative colitis and continuing efforts to understand the broad potential utility of etrasimod……………in unmet needs.”
The San Diego-based biotech has been plotting its comeback
It has not been easy for Arena to return to the market having experienced serious encounters in 2016. The former CEO Jack Lief stepped down as ordered by the board and immediately replaced by Amit Munshi. On taking up the leadership, Munshi slashed 100 employees and has promised to turn the company’s fortunes around laying off staff was just the beginning. Just recently the FDA issued Arena a refuse to file letter.
Nonetheless, the company is quickly getting on its feet and chances are that it will get approval in several areas. Meanwhile, it has a cannabinoid 2 receptor pain drug, APD371, which is in the midstage trials and will be a treatment for pain associated with Crohn’s disease.