WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. and SAN DIEGO, Nov. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Eisai Inc. and Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA) today announced top-line results from the Phase 2 trial investigating lorcaserin HCl, a serotonin 2C receptor agonist, for smoking cessation. The trial demonstrated statistically significant improvement over placebo in reducing the number of patients who smoke after 12 weeks of treatment. The detailed results of the trial are expected to be presented at a future scientific meeting.
Lorcaserin is an investigational product for smoking cessation. The efficacy and safety of lorcaserin for smoking cessation have not been established.
"We are pleased that this proof-of-concept trial provides what we believe is the first clinical evidence that a selective serotonin 2C agonist may have a treatment effect for smoking cessation," said Jack Lief, Arena's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We will evaluate the full data set to determine next steps regarding further development of lorcaserin for this potential indication."
The 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial assessed the efficacy and safety of lorcaserin as a potential aid to smoking cessation. In the trial, 603 active smokers were randomized to receive lorcaserin 10 mg once daily (QD), 10 mg twice daily (BID) or placebo in a 1:1:1 ratio. Patients at baseline were dependent on nicotine and averaged 18 cigarettes per day. Patients were dosed for two weeks before attempting to quit around Day 15 of the trial and received smoking cessation counseling during the trial.
"Smoking is recognized as one of the greatest global public health challenges, but unfortunately millions of people around the world continue to smoke and find it hard to quit," said Gary Palmer, MD, Eisai's Chief Medical Officer. "These data advance our knowledge about lorcaserin and its potential development as an aid to smoking cessation."
The primary objective of the trial was assessment of smoking cessation efficacy. The carbon monoxide confirmed continuous abstinence rate (CAR), defined as no reported smoking or other nicotine use and an end-expiratory exhaled carbon monoxide measurement of less than or equal to ten parts per million, measured during the last four weeks of the trial (Weeks 9-12), was the basis for determining efficacy. The primary endpoint was achieved by 5.6%, 8.7%, and 15.3% of patients in the placebo, QD and BID groups, respectively (p-value = 0.003 and odds ratio = 3.02 for BID vs. placebo; the result for QD vs. placebo was not statistically significant).
Secondary objectives for the trial included assessment of body weight change and of safety and tolerability. At Week 12 in the MITT population, there was a statistically significant difference in weight between lorcaserin BID and placebo (-0.98 kg and -0.01 kg, respectively, p-value = 0.0004).
The overall adverse event profile appears similar to the profile in previous trials of lorcaserin, with the most common adverse events being headache, nausea, constipation, dizziness and dry mouth.
Arena and Eisai share the development costs of the smoking cessation development program.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the epidemic of smoking-caused disease in the 20th Century ranks among the greatest American public health catastrophes. In the United States, more than 40 million adults smoked in 2012, resulting in smoking attributable economic costs estimated for the years 2009-2012 to be between $289 and $332.5 billion. In 2014, nearly 500,000 American adults are expected to die prematurely because of smoking. Smoking is also a global issue that results in more than 5 million deaths worldwide per year.
About Lorcaserin for Smoking Cessation
Internally discovered at Arena, lorcaserin is believed to selectively activate serotonin 2C receptors in the brain. Preclinical data suggest that serotonin 2C receptors may modulate the mesolimbic dopaminergic reward system. The exact mechanism of action of lorcaserin is not known.
About BELVIQ® (lorcaserin HCl) CIV for Chronic Weight Management
Lorcaserin is marketed in the United States under the brand name BELVIQ. BELVIQ is a serotonin 2C receptor agonist approved as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater (obese), or BMI of 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) with at least one weight-related medical condition such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes. It is not known if BELVIQ is safe and effective when taken with other prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal weight loss products, nor is it known if BELVIQ changes the risk of heart problems or stroke, or death due to heart problems or stroke.
BELVIQ is believed to decrease food consumption and promote satiety by selectively activating serotonin 2C receptors in the brain. The exact mechanism of action of BELVIQ is not known.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
- BELVIQ should not be taken during pregnancy or by women who are planning to become pregnant.
Warnings and Precautions
- BELVIQ is a serotonergic drug. The development of potentially life-threatening serotonin syndrome or Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)-like reactions have been reported during use of serotonergic drugs, including, but not limited to, selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, bupropion, triptans, dietary supplements such as St. John's Wort and tryptophan, drugs that impair metabolism of serotonin (including monoamine oxidase inhibitors), dextromethorphan, lithium, tramadol, antipsychotics or other dopamine antagonists, particularly when used in combination. Patients should be monitored for the emergence of serotonin syndrome symptoms or NMS-like reactions, including agitation, hallucinations, coma, tachycardia, labile blood pressure, hyperthermia, hyperreflexia, incoordination, nausea, vomiting,
diarrhea, and muscle rigidity. Treatment with BELVIQ and any concomitant serotonergic or antidopaminergic agents should be discontinued immediately if the above events occur, and supportive symptomatic treatment should be initiated.
- Patients should not take BELVIQ in combination with drugs that have been associated with valvular heart disease (e.g., cabergoline). In clinical trials, 2.4% of patients taking BELVIQ and 2.0% of patients taking placebo developed valvular regurgitation: none of these patients was symptomatic. BELVIQ should be used with caution in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). Patients who develop signs and symptoms of valvular heart disease, including dyspnea, dependent edema, CHF, or a new cardiac murmur, should be evaluated and discontinuation of BELVIQ should be considered.
- Impairment in attention, memory, somnolence, confusion, and fatigue, have been reported in patients taking BELVIQ. Patients should not drive a car or operate heavy machinery until they know how BELVIQ affects them.
- The recommended dose of 10 mg twice daily should not be exceeded, as higher doses may cause euphoria, hallucination, and dissociation. Monitor patients for the development or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, and/or any changes in mood. Discontinue BELVIQ in patients who develop suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
- Weight loss may increase the risk of hypoglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who are being treated with antidiabetic medications, so measurement of blood sugar levels before and during treatment with BELVIQ is recommended. Decreases in doses of antidiabetic medications or changes in medication regimen should be considered.
- Men who experience priapism should immediately discontinue BELVIQ and seek emergency medical attention. BELVIQ should be used with caution with erectile dysfunction medications. BELVIQ should be used with caution in men who have conditions that might predispose them to priapism (e.g., sickle cell anemia, multiple myeloma, or leukemia), or in men with anatomical deformation of the penis (e.g., angulation, cavernosal fibrosis, or Peyronie's disease).
- Because BELVIQ may cause a slow heartbeat, it should be used with caution in patients with a history of bradycardia or heart block greater than first degree.
- Consider monitoring for CBC changes, prolactin excess, and pulmonary hypertension.
Most Common Adverse Reactions
- In patients without diabetes: headache (17%), dizziness (9%), fatigue (7%), nausea (8%), dry mouth (5%), and constipation (6%).
- In patients with diabetes: hypoglycemia (29%), headache (15%), back pain (12%), cough (8%), and fatigue (7%).
- BELVIQ should not be taken by women who are nursing.
BELVIQ is a federally controlled substance (CIV) because it may be abused or lead to drug dependence.
For more information about BELVIQ, click here for the full US FDA-approved Product Information or visit www.BELVIQ.com.
Eisai is responsible for the marketing and distribution of BELVIQ in most territories worldwide under its agreement with Arena. BELVIQ® is a registered trademark of Arena Pharmaceuticals GmbH.
About Arena Pharmaceuticals
Arena is embracing the challenge of improving health by seeking to bring innovative medicines targeting G protein-coupled receptors to patients. Arena's internally discovered drug, BELVIQ® (lorcaserin HCl), is approved in the United States, and Arena is focused on discovering, developing and commercializing additional drugs to address unmet medical needs. Arena's US operations are located in San Diego, California, and its operations outside of the United States, including its commercial manufacturing facility, are located in Zofingen, Switzerland. For more information, visit Arena's website at www.arenapharm.com.
Arena Pharmaceuticals® and Arena® are registered service marks of Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
About Eisai Inc.
At Eisai Inc., human health care is our goal. Eisai gives its first thoughts to patients and their families, and helping to increase the benefits health care provides. As the US pharmaceutical subsidiary of Tokyo-based Eisai Co., Ltd., Eisai has a passionate commitment to patient care that is the driving force behind Eisai's efforts to help address unmet medical needs. Eisai is a fully integrated pharmaceutical business with discovery, clinical, manufacturing and marketing capabilities. Our key areas of commercial
focus include oncology and specialty care (Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and metabolic disorders). To learn more about Eisai Inc., please visit us at www.eisai.com/US.
Eisai Inc. has affiliates that are part of a global product creation organization that includes R&D facilities in Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, as well as a global demand chain organization that includes manufacturing facilities in Maryland and North Carolina. Eisai's global areas of R&D focus include neuroscience; oncology; metabolic disorders; vascular, inflammatory and immunological reaction; and antibody-based
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements include statements about the advancement, therapeutic indication, use, safety, efficacy, mechanism of action, and potential of BELVIQ or lorcaserin, including as a potential aid for smoking cessation; significance of the top-line results from the Phase 2 trial investigating lorcaserin for smoking cessation, including in advancing knowledge about lorcaserin and its potential development; future presentation of the trial results; a selective serotonin 2C agonist's treatment effect for smoking cessation; evaluation of the full data set and determining next steps regarding further development of lorcaserin for smoking cessation; rights, obligations and activities under the marketing and supply agreement among Arena and Eisai; embracing the challenge of improving health; seeking to bring innovative medicines to patients; and Arena's focus, plans, goals, strategy, expectations, research and development programs, and ability to discover and develop compounds and commercialize drugs. For such statements, Arena claims the protection of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual events or results may differ materially from Arena's expectations. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: top-line results are not comprehensive and are based on a preliminary analysis of then available data, and findings and conclusions related to the trial are subject to change following a more comprehensive review of the data; risks related to commercializing
drugs, including regulatory, manufacturing, supply and marketing issues and the availability and use of BELVIQ; cash and revenues generated from BELVIQ, including the impact of competition; Arena's revenues will be based in part on estimates, judgment and accounting policies, and incorrect estimates or disagreement regarding estimates or accounting policies may result in changes to Arena's guidance or previously reported results; the timing and outcome of regulatory review is uncertain, and BELVIQ may not be approved for marketing when expected or ever in combination with another drug, for another indication or using a different formulation or in any other territory for any indication; regulatory decisions in one territory may impact other regulatory decisions and Arena's business prospects; government and commercial reimbursement and pricing decisions; risks related to relying on
collaborative arrangements; the timing and receipt of payments and fees, if any, from collaborators; the entry into or modification or termination of collaborative arrangements; unexpected or unfavorable new data; nonclinical and clinical data is voluminous and detailed, and regulatory agencies may interpret or weigh the importance of data differently and reach different conclusions than Arena or others, request additional information, have additional recommendations or change their guidance or requirements before or after approval; data and other information related to any of Arena's research and development may not meet regulatory requirements or otherwise be sufficient for (or Arena or a collaborator may not pursue) further research and development, regulatory review or approval or continued marketing; Arena's ability to obtain and defend patents; the timing, success and cost of
Arena's research and development; results of clinical trials and other studies are subject to different interpretations and may not be predictive of future results; clinical trials and other studies may not proceed at the time or in the manner expected or at all; having adequate funds; and satisfactory resolution of litigation or other disagreements with others. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by Arena's forward-looking statements are disclosed in Arena's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements represent Arena's judgment as of the time of this release. Arena disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements, other than as may be required under applicable law.
SOURCE Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Eisai Inc.