DURECT Reports Positive Phase IIb Data from TRANSDU(TM)-Sufentanil Clinical Program

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CUPERTINO, Calif., March 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — DURECT Corporation
(Nasdaq: DRRX) announced today positive results from a 74 patient Phase IIb
clinical trial conducted by Endo Pharmaceuticals of TRANSDUR(TM)-Sufentanil, a
proprietary seven day patch under development for the treatment of chronic
pain. The development program for this drug candidate was reviewed with the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) during a successful end-of-Phase II
meeting with the FDA on February 19, 2009. As a result of that meeting, we
believe we understand the anticipated regulatory pathway for the Phase III
program and approval, which we expect will follow a 505(b)2 pathway as
discussed with FDA.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20020717/DRRXLOGO)

“In this trial, all of the primary and secondary objectives were met by
showing patients could be successfully converted from oral opioids such as
OxyContin(R) and from fentanyl patches such as Duragesic(R) to
TRANSDUR-Sufentanil, while also showing a reduction in pain scores on our
therapy,” stated James Brown, President and CEO of DURECT Corporation. “We
believe that our small, patient-friendly seven day sufentanil patch would
compete effectively in the chronic pain market including both patches and oral

In addition to the recent Phase IIb study, there have been 9 additional
clinical studies performed to date with TRANSDUR-Sufentanil that have involved
over 300 patient exposures. These studies include evaluating wearing,
pharmacokinetics, specialty populations, repeat applications, skin abrasions,
drug interactions and dose conversions. In addition, a non-clinical package
comprising multiple animal safety studies has been developed, including
carcinogenicity studies, long-term toxicology and multiple biocompatibility

Phase IIb Trial

— Primary objective: explore the minimally acceptable dose titration
interval for transitioning opioid experienced patients to
TRANSDUR-Sufentanil to achieve an acceptable analgesic and side effect
— Secondary objectives:
— Evaluate the relative potency relationship for converting patients
from current opioid therapy to TRANSDUR-Sufentanil;
— Evaluate the efficacy of TRANSDUR-Sufentanil administration; and
— Evaluate the safety and tolerability (including local effects) of
continuous TRANSDUR-Sufentanil administration at a dose delivering
adequate pain control.


The TRANSDUR-Sufentanil Phase IIb clinical trial was an open label,
two-stage study to explore the titration (conversion) schedule for
transitioning opioid-experienced patients with non-malignant moderate to
severe chronic pain from current oral (e.g., OxyContin(R)) and transdermal
opioid (e.g., Duragesic(R)) therapies to TRANSDUR-Sufentanil. After screening
and recording of baseline (before TRANSDUR-Sufentanil therapy) measurements
with respect to average pain intensity and other matters, patients were
randomized into multiple titration regimens. After achieving an endpoint of
adequate, stable pain control and an acceptable safety profile on
TRANSDUR-Sufentanil, patients entered a 28-day continuous treatment
maintenance period, followed by a 7-day follow-up period to ensure that an
adequate pain control regimen was re-established. In this study conducted at
11 sites in the U.S., a total of 74 patients entered screening, of which 36
entered the maintenance period.


Dose Titration Interval

In this study, approximately half (36 out of 74) of the screened patients
successfully entered the maintenance period, which is consistent with
expectations for the study and with other chronic pain studies of a similar
nature. After exploring multiple dose titration regimens, two acceptable dose
titration intervals have achieved the desired analgesic effect and side-effect
profile, and therefore are expected to be utilized in Phase III.

Relative Potency

As a result of converting screened patients to stable pain control and
into the maintenance period (see above), the conversion ratios from oral
morphine equivalents at baseline to TRANSDUR-Sufentanil dosage strengths were
established and are expected to be utilized in the Phase III program.


Although not the main goal of the study, the mean pain score during the
maintenance period of 3.88 (on a numerical ratings scale for pain intensity of
0-10, with 0 being no pain) represented a reduction of approximately 19% from
the mean baseline pain score of 4.78. These pain scores represent the mean
for the patients that had a maintenance pain value and a baseline pain value
(n=36) and computations were based on the intention-to-treat patients set.
Only 1 patient out of 36 (approximately 2.8%) dropped out of the study during
the maintenance period for lack of efficacy.

Safety and Tolerability

The safety summary is consistent with commonly expected adverse events
using transdermal therapy systems with opioids. Only 1 out of 74 patients
(approximately 1.4%) dropped out of the study due to application site reaction
(local pruritis) and that one instance occurred during the first visit. No
patients dropped out of the study due to application site adverse events
during the maintenance period. No patients’ adverse events were rated as

About TRANSDUR-Sufentanil

TRANSDUR-Sufentanil is intended to provide continuous delivery of
sufentanil for up to seven days from a single application, as compared to the
two to three days of relief provided by currently available opioid patches.
We anticipate that the small size of our sufentanil patch (potentially as
small as 1/5th the size of currently marketed transdermal fentanyl patches for
a therapeutically equivalent dose) and longer duration of action may offer
meaningful patient benefits for chronic pain sufferers. We believe that the
product profile of TRANSDUR-Sufentanil may allow such patches to compete
effectively in the chronic pain market including both patches and oral

Effective August 26, 2009, we will receive back from Endo Pharmaceuticals
the right to develop and commercialize TRANSDUR-Sufentanil in the U.S. and
Canada. Endo has committed to assist us in an orderly and rapid transition of
this program back to us. With the worldwide rights to this program restored
to us, we believe we have an attractive asset to partner or to progress

About DURECT Corporation

DURECT is an emerging specialty pharmaceutical company developing
innovative drugs for pain and other chronic diseases, with late-stage
development programs including REMOXY(R), POSIDUR(TM), ELADUR(TM), and
TRANSDUR(TM)-Sufentanil. DURECT’s proprietary oral, transdermal and
injectable depot delivery technologies may enable new indications and superior
clinical/commercial attributes such as abuse deterrence, improved convenience,
compliance, efficacy and safety for small molecule and biologic drugs. For
more information, please visit www.www.durect.com.

trademarks of DURECT Corporation. Other referenced trademarks belong to their
respective owners. REMOXY, POSIDUR, ELADUR and TRANSDUR-Sufentanil are drug
candidates under development and have not been approved for commercialization
by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or other health authorities.

DURECT Forward-Looking Statement

The statements in this press release regarding TRANSDUR-Sufentanil, its
potential attributes and product benefits, its potential as an alternative to
opioid products, anticipated Phase III program (including the dose titration
regimens and dose conversion ratios expected to be utilized in the Phase III
program) and regulatory pathway for approval, our intentions to enter into
collaborations or further develop the program are forward-looking statements
involving risks and uncertainties that can cause actual results to differ
materially from those in such forward-looking statements. Potential risks and
uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the uncertainty and costs
associated with the development and commercialization of certain opioid drug
products such as TRANSDUR-Sufentanil due to increased scrutiny and possible
new regulations relating to risk evaluation and mitigation of these drugs, our
difficulty or failure to obtain approvals from regulatory agencies with
respect to TRANSDUR-Sufentanil, design, enroll, conduct and complete clinical
trials, complete the design, development, and manufacturing process
development of TRANSDUR-Sufentanil, consummate collaborative agreements
relating to TRANSDUR-Sufentanil, manufacture and commercialize and obtain
marketplace acceptance of TRANSDUR-Sufentanil, avoid infringing patents held
by other parties and secure and defend patents of our own, and manage and
obtain capital to fund our growth, operations and expenses. Further
information regarding these and other risks is included in DURECT’s Form 10-K
dated March 10, 2009 under the heading “Risk Factors.”


CONTACT: Matthew J. Hogan, Chief Financial Officer of DURECT
, +1-408-777-4936
Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20020717/DRRXLOGO
PRN Photo Desk, +1-888-776-6555 or +1-212-782-2840
Web Site: http://www.www.durect.com

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