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Drugs R D. 2003;4(4):231-5.

ALX 111: ALX1-11, parathyroid hormone (1-84) - NPS Allelix, PREOS, PTH, recombinant human parathyroid hormone, rhPTH (1-84).

Abstract

ALX 111 [parathyroid hormone (1-84) - NPS Allelix, recombinant human parathyroid hormone, rhPTH (1-84), PREOS] is a full-length, recombinant human parathyroid hormone. It has potential as an anti-osteoporotic agent, due to its properties as a bone formation stimulant. This profile has been selected from R&D Insight, a pharmaceutical intelligence database produced by Adis International Ltd. It has been recommended that ALX 111 should be given for 1 to 2 years and may be given in combination with an antiresorptive agent, such as estrogen or a bisphosphonate. In December 1999, Allelix Biopharmaceuticals merged with NPS Pharmaceuticals. This combined company is operating as NPS Pharmaceuticals in the US and as NPS Allelix in Canada. The merger has enabled a phase III study of ALX 111 to begin in the US, Europe and South America. NPS harmaceuticals has signed an agreement with Bio-Imaging Technologies, which will provide all image handling and analysis for this trial. Until 1994, Allelix Biopharmaceuticals and Glaxo in Canada were involved in a joint venture to investigate the efficacy of ALX 111 in osteoporosis. Allelix was subsequently, until September 1998, collaborating with Astra of Sweden in developing ALX 111. Astra had acquired exclusive worldwide rights to ALX 111 and was responsible for development of the agent. However, Astra returned all rights to ALX 111 to Allelix as a result of its merger with Zeneca to form AstraZeneca. In December 1999, Allelix Biopharmaceuticals merged with NPS Pharmaceuticals. This combined company is operating as NPS Pharmaceuticals in the US and as NPS Allelix in Canada. The merger has enabled a phase III study of ALX 111 to begin in the US, Europe and South America. The phase III trial of ALX 111 for the treatment of osteoporosis has completed patient enrolment, and phase II trials have been completed in Canada and the Netherlands. The 18-month, phase III, multicentre, placebo-controlled trial (Treatment of Osteoporosis with Parathyroid Hormone; TOP) has been designed to assess the bone-building and fracture-reducing potential of the drug, and over 2600 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis who have not received previous drug therapy for osteoporosis have been enrolled. Treatment will be completed in September 2003, but more than 75% of patients enrolled in the TOP study have chosen to enrol in an Open Label Extension Study (OLES), which allows for a total treatment period of up to 24 months. NPS Pharmaceuticals has signed an agreement with Bio-Imaging Technologies, which will provide all image handling and analysis for this trial. In September 2002, NPS Pharmaceuticals announced that it has met its patient enrolment target (n > 150) for its POWER (PTH for Osteoporotic Women on Estrogen Replacement) study; a 24-month phase III trial initiated in Europe in November 2001. In this trial, women with osteoporosis receive SC injections of ALX 111 or placebo, in combination with their existing hormone replacement therapies, to test the bone building potential of the drug. In addition to the POWER study, a clinical trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is being conducted to evaluate the potential of ALX 111 to build bone in combination with another osteoporosis medication. The 'PaTH' study (PTH/alendronate) is designed to assess the effect of various combinations and sequential uses of ALX 111 and Merck's Fosamax, a drug for slowing the loss of bone due to osteoporosis. The PaTH study, initiated in May 2000 and scheduled to conclude in September 2003, involved 238 patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis. It is thought that alendronic acid and ALX 111, when administered in combination, may act in an additive manner to treat osteoporosis because they act in different ways; alendronic acid acts to inhibit resorption and ALX 111 speeds up bone formation and resorption, with a net increase in formation. Results of this study are still being analysed but preliminary results appear to be positive. The effect of ALX 111 on bone cell cultures underare still being analysed but preliminary results appear to be positive. The effect of ALX 111 on bone cell cultures under conditions of microgravity was tested in orbit on the Space Shuttle Columbia, which was launched on 16 January 2003 but did not survive re-entry. This study was one in a series of studies known as 'OSTEO' and had been prepared by researchers from NPS Pharmaceuticals using Millenium Biologix' OSTEO Mini-Lab System. Under space flight conditions, astronauts experience a loss in bone density at a rate up to ten times faster than that of earth-bound patients with osteoporosis, and it was hoped that this study would indicate the mechanism of action of ALX 111 at cellular and genetic levels. The results of these studies were represented by the samples of human bone cells, which were lost during the re-entry tragedy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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