Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Anthera (ANTH) FINALLY releases interim results of Phase 3 lupus study


Anthera finally released interim results for its Phase 3 trial in Lupus today.  It passed the futility analysis which is a positive though still no guarantee of meeting its primary endpoint.  The stock popped 25% today which is surprising given its small market cap of $75 post-pop.  This tells me that there's still quite a bit of skepticism from the investment community on the likelihood of success but any pullback may be a good buying opportunity for the risk and reward seeking Biotech Investor.  I'm currently on the sideline but might buy in on a dip.

Anthera Pharmaceuticals Announces Completion of Interim Analysis from Phase 3 Trial with Blisibimod for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

-- CHABLIS-SC1 study passes futility analysis and will continue to completion with an enhanced endpoint
-- Enrollment to be completed in 2015 with final data in Q3 2016
-- Recent encouraging EMA feedback on BRIGHT-SC design to be incorporated prior to interim


PR Newswire
HAYWARD, Calif., Feb. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ANTH) today announced the successful completion of an interim analysis of its Phase 3 trial (CHABLIS-SC1) of blisibimod in patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and that the study should continue to completion as planned. An independent statistician conducted the interim futility analysis for the CHABLIS-SC1 study, evaluating the SRI-6 response at the 24 week time point. Enrollment in the trial is projected to conclude in mid-2015.
"While the results of the CHABLIS-SC1 interim futility analysis remain blinded to Anthera, we are very pleased that the study has passed this critical milestone and now look forward to finishing enrollment later this year," said Dr. Colin S. Hislop, Anthera's Chief Medical Officer.
Prior to the interim analysis and in response to recent input from the Company's Scientific Advisory Board following the publication of clinical data from other Lupus studies with BAFF inhibitors, the Company modified the primary endpoint of CHABLIS-SC1 from SRI-8 response to SRI-6 response, which was previously a secondary endpoint of the study.  SRI-8 will remain a key secondary endpoint of the study. The Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Response Index (SRI) is an approved endpoint recognized by the FDA for previously approved therapeutics.
"Based on the wealth of new information regarding the treatment of SLE and BAFF inhibition, we are fortunate to have had the opportunity to adjust our trial design," said Dr. Colin S. Hislop. "The SRI-6 endpoint has a history of consistency across multiple trials and represents the best possibility for success. Maintaining the SRI-8 endpoint as a key secondary endpoint can maximize our commercial opportunity for the severe patients we are enrolling in the CHABLIS-SC1 study."
Anthera has also completed a Scientific Advice Process meeting with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) regarding the blisibimod development program for the treatment of IgA Nephropathy (IgAN).  Earlier this quarter the Company obtained written feedback regarding the acceptability of a single pivotal study as the initial basis for a conditional market authorization application (MAA) in the European Union utilizing proteinuria as the primary endpoint.  In addition, the EMA also provided recommendations to address treatment duration, durability of response and need for re-treatment in the BRIGHT-SC study.  Anthera and its Japanese development partner Zenyaku Koygo Co., Ltd. plan to incorporate them in a protocol amendment prior to the planned interim analysis for the BRIGHT-SC study which will be completed later this quarter.
"We are pleased by the feedback from the EMA on the IgAN development program, which supports our global approach in IgAN.  This comes at a time when we are actively expanding our recruitment efforts throughout the world," said Dr. Colin S. Hislop.

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