Phase II Safety Extension Positive for BCRX; Partnership Sought for Next Study

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:BCRX) announced this morning that its Phase 2b trial of ulodesine, in tandem with allopurinol, had favorable safety and sustained efficacy in extended studies. The drug is a once-daily oral treatment for chronic gout, developed to reduce production of serum uric acid (sUA). The 52-week, blinded safety extension trial concluded that ulodesine was safe and well-accepted in patients who did not respond to allopurinol alone. Ulodesine was added to allopurinol in patients who had failed to reach the sUA therapeutic goals on allopurinol. The study saw an approximate doubling of sUA response rates at the 12-week mark, but more importantly, the results were sustained through the 52-week extension. Chief Medical Officer Dr. William P. Sheridan said, “We are sharing these long-term Phase 2 results with potential partners who are evaluating licensing ulodesine for Phase 3 development and commercialization. We remain focused on concluding our partnering discussions, while preparing materials and protocols for Phase 3 trials that would enable a partner to quickly initiate the pivotal program.”

The company has high hopes for the treatment, citing a 2.5 million ulodesine patient population (of 9 million affected) by 2015 in the U.S. alone. BCRX is up 2.5% this morning and with a partnership on the horizon, shares may continue to rise in the near future.