Flexion Therapeutics’ Zilretta pain drug proves effective in the third phase clinical trial, prompting the company’s shares to jump. Following the Tuesday announcement, Flexion Therapeutics shares rose by 38 percent in extended trading.
Zilretta, the company’s pain relief drug offered to knee osteoarthritis patients has proved largely successful during Phase III of the clinical trial. With a high success rate compared to the placebo, the pain relief drug is now moving forward for market approval by the FDA. It is expected that in the U.S. alone, Zilretta could reach half a billion dollars sales.
The long-acting steroid researched and developed by the Burlington-based company sunk Flexion Therapeutics shares to a minimum as the mid-stage trial yielded inconclusive results. At 12 weeks, Zilretta pain relief drug showed no statistically significant results in alleviating pain compared to the placebo offered to the 200 patients involved in the trial.
However, the Phase III clinical trial, involving 486 patients with knee osteoarthritis changed the company’s fate. As such, Michael Clayman, the CEO of Flexion Therapeutics believes the FDA approval is right around the corner.
The new results come only months after the disappointing set of results yielded by the mid-stage trial. However, they prove that Zilretta is an effective pain relief drug for knee osteoarthritis patients. The clinical trial compared the efficacy of Zilretta with that of a placebo and one steroid used in treating knee osteoarthritis patients.
According to Michael Clayman, conventional treatment methods offered to knee osteoarthritis patients aren’t effective pain relievers in the three-month timeframe between the injections.
Against this background, a large number of patients are prescribed opiate drugs to cope with the pain. Opiate drugs have a number of side effects which have been recently discussed in relation to a growing epidemic of drug abuse and opiate drugs overdose deaths.
In the U.S. 27 million people are affected by osteoarthritis. This type of degenerative arthritis is caused by the damage suffered by cartilage and its gradual loss. Flexion Therapeutics’ Zilretta pain drug proves effective. Pending FDA approval it may become a game changer for knee osteoarthritis patients as an efficient pain relief drug.
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