PHILADELPHIA, March 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Tarsa Therapeutics today announced that the Phase III ORACAL trial of its oral recombinant salmon calcitonin in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis was successfully concluded and yielded statistically significant, positive top-line results. The results will be used to support a New Drug Application (NDA) submission to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) targeted for the fourth quarter of 2011, based on the study design and specific endpoints that were agreed with the FDA in a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) agreement. By early 2012, Tarsa also plans to submit a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) to the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
The ORACAL study is a Phase III multinational, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, placebo-controlled trial of Tarsa's oral recombinant salmon calcitonin compared to commercially available, synthetic salmon calcitonin administered by nasal spray. The trial enrolled 565 postmenopausal women with established osteoporosis in six countries. The ORACAL study's primary endpoint was the percent change in lumbar spine bone mineral density (BMD) after one year of treatment. Success required that oral salmon calcitonin be superior to placebo and non-inferior to nasal salmon calcitonin spray in increasing BMD at the lumbar spine. Both results were positive and statistically significant. The trial also assessed the tolerability of oral calcitonin, which was similar to that of calcitonin administered by nasal spray and to placebo. The full data from the study are expected to be presented in a peer-reviewed forum later this year.
"With these positive Phase III top-line results in hand, we are proceeding with the additional dataset analyses we will need to submit an NDA to the FDA before the end of the year," said David Brand, President and CEO of Tarsa. "Our tablet has the potential to offer the 30-year record of safety and efficacy of calcitonin with the advantage of once-daily oral administration to the millions of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. We believe that our product has the potential to be the first FDA-approved oral formulation of calcitonin to reach the market."
Separately, Tarsa announced that it has completed screening and has begun to randomize patients in its Phase II osteoporosis prevention trial. TAR01-201 is a double-blind study comparing Tarsa's oral recombinant salmon calcitonin to placebo in approximately 120 postmenopausal women who have low bone mass (osteopenia) and are at increased risk of fracture. This proof-of-concept study is evaluating the ability of oral calcitonin to prevent osteoporosis and maintain bone mass in this population. This trial, conducted entirely in the US, is expected to complete enrollment by the end of April 2011.
Dr. David Krause, Chief Medical Officer of Tarsa, commented, "Calcitonin has a long history of safety and efficacy as an osteoporosis therapy, and we believe that the availability of Tarsa's easy-to-use, once-daily oral calcitonin tablet would be welcomed by many healthcare providers and patients who are seeking additional osteoporosis treatment and prevention options, especially in view of continuing concerns about potential long-term safety issues with some other popular classes of osteoporosis drugs."
Calcitonin is approved for the treatment and prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis, but its use has been limited by the fact that it is currently available only in intranasal and injectable forms. Tarsa's oral calcitonin product has been shown in prior clinical studies to deliver the desired blood levels of calcitonin and reduce levels of biomarkers of bone resorption.
For more information about the ORACAL osteoporosis treatment trial and the TAR01-201 osteoporosis prevention trial, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=tarsa.
Tarsa is developing its oral calcitonin program under a licensing agreement with Unigene Laboratories that provides Tarsa with exclusive development and worldwide commercialization rights to Unigene's oral calcitonin product, with the exception of China.
Osteoporosis is a common disease characterized by the loss of bone mass (thinning of bones) that leads to an increase in bone fragility and heightened risk of fractures. The National Osteoporosis Foundation reports that in the US, approximately 10 million individuals already have osteoporosis and an additional 34 million have low bone mass (also known as osteopenia), placing them at increased risk of developing osteoporosis. The International Osteoporosis Foundation reports that osteoporosis affects an estimated 75 million people in the US, Europe and Japan. Risk factors include family history, age, postmenopausal status, low dietary calcium intake, sedentary lifestyle and use of certain medications. As life spans increase globally, the number of individuals at risk of osteoporosis will continue to rise. At age 50, approximately one in two women and one in four men can expect to have an osteoporosis-related fracture during the remainder of their lives, with the risk increasing with age. Fractures resulting from osteoporosis can be painful and debilitating, compromising the quality of patients' lives and in the case of hip fractures, increasing the risk of institutionalization, disability and early mortality. For more information visit: www.niams.nih.gov/HealthInfo/Bone or www.nof.org.
About Tarsa Therapeutics
Tarsa Therapeutics is developing an oral formulation of calcitonin for the treatment and prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Calcitonin has a long history of safety and efficacy, and availability of an oral form is expected to generate wider use. Tarsa recently reported positive top-line results from the Phase III ORACAL trial of its oral calcitonin in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis, and a Phase II osteoporosis prevention trial is underway. Tarsa is based in Philadelphia, PA. For more information, visit www.tarsatherapeutics.com.
GendeLLindheim BioCom Partners
SOURCE Tarsa Therapeutics, Inc.