Friday, June 3, 2011

US FDA approves Solesta to treat patients with life-altering fecal incontinence

 Oceana Therapeutics, a global company focused on acquiring, developing and commercializing best-in-class specialty therapeutics, announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Solesta as a treatment for fecal (bowel) incontinence in adult patients who have failed conservative therapy such as dietary control.

“This is a pivotal development, one that advances Oceana Therapeutics to an exciting new growth stage,” said John T Spitznagel, chairman & CEO, Oceana. “Moreover, Solesta epitomizes our corporate mission to commercialize specialty therapeutics for unmet medical needs and to achieve optimal outcomes and enhanced patient quality of life” he added.

David S Tierney, president & COO, Oceana said “Solesta was developed in collaboration with Q-Med AB* as a minimally invasive injectable gel that can be administered, relatively quickly, in an outpatient setting without the need for anaesthesia. This is a significant new treatment option for the many underserved patients who fail conservative therapy and face a life of potential social humiliation and the possibility of severe invasive treatment such as surgery.”

“I also want to commend everyone involved in the speedy responses to the items raised about a month ago in the FDA’s approvable letter for Solesta,” said Tierney. “The turnaround time between the FDA’s approvable letter and today’s announced marketing approval of Solesta has been, in our view, remarkably fast.”

Oceana intends to focus Solesta marketing and medical educational support on colorectal surgeons, specialists in treating bowel incontinence. The company is also moving expeditiously to put in place marketing materials, build product inventory, and be prepared to ship and launch Solesta during the second half of 2011. “The sooner we get Solesta into the hands of the physicians, the sooner it will be available to patients who can benefit from the product,” said Tierney. “So, we intend to push hard for a 3rd quarter US launch, although we realize that is an aggressive target.”

Solesta is a biocompatible tissue bulking agent, consisting of dextranomer microspheres and stabilized sodium hyaluronate. Solesta has been developed as a minimally invasive treatment for fecal incontinence. It is the only injectable gel to be administered in an outpatient setting without the need for anaesthesia. Solesta is injected in the deep submucosal layer in the proximal part of the anal canal. While the exact mechanism of action has not been identified, it is hypothesized that the Solesta injections may narrow the anal canal and allowing for better sphincter control.

The Solesta PMA was submitted to the FDA in April 2010 for the treatment of fecal incontinence in adult patients who have failed conservative therapy (i.e., diet, fibre therapy, anti-motility medications). The PMA was reviewed by the FDA’s Gastroenterology and Urology Devices Advisory Panel which met on December 2, 2010 and which voted that Solesta was safe and effective, and that its benefits outweighed its risks.

The main body of clinical evidence in the Solesta PMA submission involved a multi-centre, prospective, randomized, Sham (placebo) controlled study of the product’s effectiveness and safety. The study included 206 patients (136 Solesta, 70 Sham) and consisted of a 6-month double-blinded phase followed by an open label phase in which patients originally randomized to Sham treatment were offered Solesta. The primary efficacy objective of the study required: demonstrating a statistically significant Solesta effect after 6 months of treatment; meeting a pre-defined threshold for clinical significance; and showing durability of the Solesta benefit up to 12 months after treatment. All three of these endpoints were met.

Results from this clinical trial of Solesta as a treatment for fecal incontinence were published in The Lancet (March 19, 2011; 377: 997-1003). In general, the authors of the article noted that the treatment not only met its safety and efficacy endpoints, but also was easily administered.

Oceana Therapeutics is committed to commercializing best-in-class therapeutics to address unmet and under-satisfied medical needs with a focus on colorectal, gastroenterology and urological diseases.

Source: Pharmabiz

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