Neptune, Acasti completes preclinical program comparing CaPre with Lovaza

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Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc. ("Neptune") (Nasdaq:NEPT) (TSX-V:NTB) subsidiary, Acasti Pharma Inc. ("Acasti"), reports the completion of its preclinical program designed to compare the lipid management effects of Acasti's drug candidate CaPre™ versus prescription drug Lovaza®. Blood lipids were monitored in two animal models in order to assess and compare the efficacy of CaPre™ and Lovaza® over a 12-week treatment period.

  • A low daily human equivalent dose of 1g CaPre™ reduced LDL-C (bad cholesterol) levels by 40% and increased HDL-C (good cholesterol) by 180% in a normal rat model ("SD") while 4gr of Lovaza® did not show any significant effect.
  • An even lower daily human equivalent dose of 0.5g CaPre™ was shown to be as efficient as 4g of Lovaza® in reducing triglycerides levels by 40-50% in obese rats with severe diabetes and high triglycerides ("ZDF")

"These results suggest that a low (0.5g to 1g) daily dosing of CaPre™ is more effective than 4g Lovaza® in elevating HDL-C and lowering LDL-C and triglycerides. These effects become even more striking considering that a 1g daily dose of CaPre™ contains 8.9 times less EPA and 11.1 times less DHA than the recommended 4g daily dose of Lovaza®. It is also important to note that the triglycerides reduction was observed only after 4 weeks and was maintained throughout the study suggesting a significant metabolic impact of CaPre™," said Dr. Bruno Battistini, Senior Director, Pharmaceutical R&D of Acasti.

"Taken together, the present and previously disclosed data suggest that CaPre™ may be an effective alternative for the management of cardiometabolic disorders due to its therapeutic versatility and multiple applications including also a superiority over Lovaza® on Omegas-3 Index and impaired glucose tolerance. This difference in activity is likely to be explained by the fact that phospholipids functionalize the omega-3 (EPA and DHA) contained in CaPre™ versus omega-3-acid ethyl ester in Lovaza®," said Pierre Lemieux, Ph.D., COO of Acasti. "According to market research firm IMS Health, global sales of Lovaza® topped $1 billion in 2009, with $758 million of those sales originating in the U.S. Moreover, in 2007, GlaxoSmithKline PLC (LSE/NYSE:GSK) acquired the USA rights to Lovaza® by its acquisition of Reliant Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $1.65 billion, which is an indicator of the potential value of CaPre™," he added.

"To be able to benchmark against a formulation such as Lovaza®, being the only FDA approved "prescription omega-3 fish oil" solely indicated for the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia (very high triglycerides >500mg/dl) along with a healthy diet that has now reached over 1B$ in sales, is encouraging. We believe that CaPre™ is in a much better position to improve the compliance of patients and help the treating physician. This latest benchmarking program gives us a great deal of confidence regarding the upcoming phase II clinical trial for which we recently submitted a Clinical Trial Application in Canada," said Dr. Tina Sampalis, President of Acasti.


Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc.


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