AstraZeneca and POZEN announce the pivotal data from two POZEN clinical trials

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AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) and POZEN Inc. (Nasdaq: POZN) today announced pivotal data from two POZEN clinical trials that were presented at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2009 Annual Scientific Meeting in Philadelphia, PA.

The data demonstrated that patients at risk for developing NSAID-associated gastric ulcers taking VIMOVO(TM) (naproxen/esomeprazole magnesium, formerly known as PN 400) experienced significantly fewer endoscopically confirmed gastric ulcers (GU) compared with patients taking enteric-coated (EC) naproxen (500 mg) alone. Data from study PN400-301 showed a 4.1% incidence of GU in patients taking VIMOVO, compared to 23.1% among patients taking EC naproxen (p<0.001). Study PN400-302 showed a 7.1% incidence of GU among patients taking VIMOVO, compared to 24.3% with EC naproxen (p<0.001).

VIMOVO is a fixed-dose combination of enteric-coated naproxen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and immediate release esomeprazole, a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), under investigation for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in patients who are at risk of developing NSAID-associated gastric ulcers.

"These results provide new information about VIMOVO and the incidence of NSAID-induced endoscopically confirmed gastric ulcers in patients with osteoarthritis," said Marc C. Hochberg, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine and head of the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, and co-principal investigator for the study. "If approved, VIMOVO will provide arthritis patients at risk for NSAID associated gastric ulcers a new treatment option that combines enteric-coated naproxen and immediate release esomeprazole in a single pill."

Studies 301 and 302 also analyzed the reduction in incidence of endoscopically confirmed GU among patients taking VIMOVO and EC naproxen who were on concomitant low-dose aspirin (LDA) therapy. Data combined from both studies showed that:

  • In patients taking LDA>
  • Patients taking VIMOVO who were not taking LDA>

Additional analyses examined the incidence of endoscopically confirmed duodenal ulcers (DU) among patients taking VIMOVO. In study 301, patients taking VIMOVO experienced a 0.5% incidence of DU compared to 5.1% taking EC naproxen>

The most frequently reported adverse events among patients taking both VIMOVO and EC naproxen were GI disorders, including dyspepsia, erosive esophagitis and erosive duodentis. Commonly reported treatment emergent adverse events (experienced by > than 10% patients in either treatment group) included erosive gastritis, gastritis, dyspepsia and erosive duodentis. In PN400-301>

PN400-301 and PN400-302 were 6-month, Phase III, randomized, double-blind, controlled, multi-center clinical trials that together enrolled approximately 800 H. pylori-negative adults with OA, RA, AS, or any other condition that required daily NSAID therapy and were at risk of ulcers. Subjects in each study were randomized to receive either VIMOVO/E20 (EC naproxen 500 mg/IR esomeprazole 20 mg) tablets twice-daily or EC naproxen 500 mg twice-daily, over a six-month treatment period. Subjects underwent upper endoscopies at baseline and at one, three, and six months.

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