H. Lundbeck A/S (Lundbeck) announced the headline conclusions from the first clinical phase III study, STARSHINE[i], in the ongoing phase III programme evaluating the efficacy of the investigational drug idalopirdine for the symptomatic treatment of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
In the STARSHINE study, idalopirdine showed a weak efficacy profile as neither of the two dosages used in the study met the primary endpoint of a reduction in the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog) total score when added to donepezil. In addition, the secondary endpoints also did not show separation from placebo. The overall safety profile for idalopirdine showed that idalopirdine was safe and well tolerated. Further analysis of the data is ongoing.
“We are disappointed about the outcome of this study,” said Dr. Anders Gersel Pedersen, EVP and Chief Scientific Officer at Lundbeck. “The phase II data were very encouraging but unfortunately, these data failed to replicate those findings“.
The two remaining studies, STARBEAM and STARBRIGHT, in the phase III programme that currently are ongoing will continue as planned and data are expected in the first quarter of 2017.
Idalopirdine is a selective 5-HT6 receptor antagonist. The 5-HT6 receptor is expressed in brain regions involved in cognition, such as the cortex and the hippocampus, and modulates activity of multiple neurotransmitter systems.
Through 5-HT6 receptors expressed on glutamatergic neurons and GABAergic interneurons, idalopirdine is believed to modulate the balance between excitation (glutamate) and inhibition (GABA) in the brain. When administered together with donepezil, idalopirdine potentiates the effects of the AChEI on ACh levels and on neuronal activity in the cortex and hippocampus.
Positive results of a 24-week clinical phase II trial with idalopirdine as adjunctive therapy in moderate Alzheimer’s disease have been presented and to confirm the phase II findings, a large idalopirdine phase III program as adjunct to acetylcholinesterase inhibitors in mild-moderate AD patients is ongoing. The development program is part of the alliance with Otsuka Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery