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May 7, 2012

Novartis Reports Positive Phase III Data for Acromegaly Therapy

  • Novartis reported positive data from a Phase III study comparing its somatostatin analog (SSA) pasireotide LAR (long-acting release) with its existing therapy Sandostatin LAR (ocreotide/IM injection) in acromegaly patients. Data from the 358-patient Passport-Acromegaly study showed that 31.3% of pasireotide LAR-treated patients exhibited full disease control (measured as a combination of growth hormone levels and age/sex-matched IGF-1 levels), compared with 19.2% of Sandostatin LAR-treated patients.

    Pasireotide LAR is a multireceptor targeting SSA that binds with high affinity to four of the five somatostatin receptor subtypes (sst 1, 2, 3, and 5). On April 25 the EC approved a subcutaneous formulation of pasireotide, trade-named Signifor®, for the treatment of Cushing disease in adult patients who either aren’t suitable for or have failed surgery. Additional regulatory submissions for the Cushing disease indication are in progress worldwide. 



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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