Alkermes Plc (NASDAQ:ALKS) has begun studies on its cancer immunotherapy drug ALKS 4230. Formerly referred to as RDB 1450, this drug will be studied for its immunological- pharmacodynamic effects in the treatment of solid tumors. The study will also examine the drug’s tolerability and safety in such treatments.
The study will be done in two stages. The first stage will focus on dose escalation. Data on this study is being compiled, and it is expected to be available in 2017. Once the dose escalation stage is done, the next stage will be dose expansion.
Alkermes’ ALKS 4230 is facing stiff competition from other drugs such as Yervoy, Keytruda and Opdivo, to name but a few. This study will make room for healthy competition in the immune-oncology market. Other drugs that Alkermes is also studying include ALKS 5461, ALKS 3831, and ALKS 8700. They are used in the treatment of major depressive disorders, schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis respectively. Additionally, ALKS 6428 is also being studied to help physicians in transferring opioid agonist patients to antagonist therapy.
Meanwhile, Acorda discontinues its PLUMIAZ nasal spray
As Alkermes begins a study on its immuno-oncology drug, Acorda is closing a chapter on its PLUMIAZ Nasal Spray. Acorda began studying this spray to help in the treatment of epilepsy. Now, the study is no more as focus is being shifted elsewhere.
The study is being discontinued because the data from the recent clinical trials does not provide enough information to satisfy the New Drug Application requirements. Several people participated in the study, but the results were disappointing, according to Ron Cohen M.D, President and CEO of Acorda.
The end of PLUMIAZ is not the end of everything, as studies on other pipeline programs like tozadenant and CVT-301 will go on.