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Alexza Pharmaceuticals Inc. Message Board

  • mattoruu mattoruu May 8, 2010 2:17 AM Flag

    A Summary of ALXA

    I've been doing my research on the company over the past few days and I've been typing this summary up as I've gone along. I did this with other FDA stocks previously; type up some information and posted about it for new investors who are maybe looking to invest (a starting point for their own due diligence). I'll post a summary, get some feedback, post an update to the summary, get some feedback, post an additional update... so on and so forth. I'm hoping to get some help on this to make it more informative. This is a rough draft at the moment. It is kind of long-winded in places (few sentences that basically repeat what was said earlier in the summary). I'll try to condense it a bit later. If you have anything you think is important or anything I've forgotten or made an error on, I'd appreciate a little help on it. With all that said, below starts the summary:


    I encourage everybody to do their own due diligence and make their own decisions about their investments and finances. Nobody knows your own finances and investment comfortability better than yourself. Never take another message board user's word at face value for anything (including my own). Double check. Do your own due diligence. Make your own decisions. If you like what you see, please help me keep this bumped to the top of the first page by making occasional replies. If I made any mistakes, please let me and everybody else here know. If you have anything you with to contribute, post it as a reply. I'll try to keep this summary updates periodically with contributions made by others here and as new information or news becomes known. Because of the length of the summary and the 4000-character restrictions for Yahoo! replies, the summary will be broken up into multiple replies. Each section will be posted directly below the previous section.

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    • Bump worthy

    • Very well done! Thanks Matt.


      Alexza Pharmaceuticals partnered with Biovail Corporation, Canada's single largest pharmaceutical company, operating internationally in all aspects of pharmaceutical products. In February 2010, Alexza established a collaboration with Biovail Laboratories International SRL, a subsidiary of Biovail Corporation, to develop and commercialize AZ-004 in the U.S. and Canada. Under the terms of the collaboration, Alexza is entitled to receive an upfront cash payment of $40 million, up to $90 million in potential milestone payments contingent on the successful approval of the AZ-004 NDA and other milestones.

      Alexza Pharmaceuticals President and CEO, Thomas B. King, has over 16-years of experience working in the pharmaceutical industry. He has been President and CEO of Alexza Pharmaceuticals since 2003 (being with the company every step of the way for AZ-004 since its IND filing in 2004). Before he joined Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Mr. King served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Cognetix, Inc., a biopharmaceutical development company. In addition, from January 1994 to February 2001, Mr. King held various senior executive positions at Anesta Corporation, a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company, including President and Chief Executive Officer from January 1997 to October 2000, and was a member of the board of directors until it was acquired by Cephalon, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company. Mr. King is a member of the board of directors of Achaogen, Inc., a privately-held biotechnology company.


      Alexza Pharmaceuticals successfully completed two separate Phase 3 trials: a 344-patient trial for schizophrenia and a 314-patient trial for bipolar disorder. In total, the AZ-004 NDA contains efficacy and safety data from more than 1,600 patients and subjects who have been studied in 13 different clinical trials. Both trials met primary and secondary endpoints. The company submitted an NDA on December 11, 2009 and accepted on February 11, 2010. The FDA has set the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) goal date for October 11, 2010.

      In September of 2008, ALXA announced positive results from the first Phase 3 clinical trial of AZ-004 in schizophrenic patients with acute agitation. This Phase 3 clinical trial was a in-clinic, multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study and tested AZ-004 at two dose levels, 5 mg and 10 mg. It enrolled 344 schizophrenic patients with acute agitation at 24 U.S. clinical centers.

      In December of 2008, ALXA announced positive results from the second Phase 3 clinical trial of AZ-004 in bipolar disorder patients with acute agitation. As with the previous clinical trial for schizophrenic patients, this Phase 3 clinical trial for bipolar disorder patients was also a in-clinic, multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study and tested AZ-004 at two dose levels, 5 mg and 10 mg. It enrolled 314 acutely-agitated patients with bipolar disorder at 17 U.S. clinical centers.

      The results of both clinical trials for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder showed very positive results. Both doses of AZ-004 (5 and 10 mg) met the primary and key secondary endpoints of the studies, with highly statistically significant reductions in agitation, as compared to placebo. Additionally, the 10 mg dose of AZ-004 exhibited a rapid onset of effect, with statistically significant reductions in agitation at 10 minutes post-dose, the first time point measured. The reduction of agitation was sustained through the 24-hour study period. The 10 mg dose sustained this statistically significant improvement at all measurement time points throughout the 24-hour study period, compared to placebo. In both studies, the administration of AZ-004 was generally safe and well tolerated. In 2009, Alexza initiated and completed five non-pivotal safety and NDA-supporting studies for AZ-004. Alexza believes these data, along with data from the other efficacy and safety trials conducted with AZ-004, adequately demonstrate the efficacy and safety of AZ-004 for the proposed indication.


      Alexza is developing AZ-004 to potentially offer an acute agitation treatment option that provides a fast onset of effect, that is noninvasive and safer to administer than injections, and that allows patients to be active participants in choosing acceptable treatment options.

      AZ-004 is a combination drug and device. It used Alexza's proprietary technology, the Staccato System. The Staccato system vaporizes unformulated drug to form a condensation aerosol that allows rapid systemic drug delivery through deep lung inhalation. The drug is quickly absorbed through the lungs into the bloodstream, providing speed of therapeutic onset that is comparable to intravenous administration, but with greater ease, patient comfort and convenience.

      The Staccato System is used to deliver the drug loxapine into the patient's lungs. This process works due to the heating element contained within the Staccato System inhalers. The heating element is coated with a thin layer of loxapine. Before use, the patient triggers the heating element, which vaporizes the loxapine, allowing the patient to inhale it. The loxapine is then rapidly absorbed through the lungs at a rate typically faster than oral and intravenous mediations. The device has the potential to change the treatment practices for acute agitation by being able to quickly, comfortably, easily and reliably calm down agitated patients.

      Clinical trial data indicate that Alexza’s unique Staccato technology generates consistent distribution of aerosolized drug particles of 1 to 5 microns (the ideal size for absorption in deep lung tissue), providing peak plasma concentrations as quickly as an intravenous injection and rapid onset of therapeutic relief.

      In addition to loxapine, the devices have been tested with over 200 FDA-approved that also has the ability to be used in such a manner with the Staccato System. Currently ALXA is engaging in clinical trials with 5 additional drugs; two of which have completed Phase 2 trials, one currently in Phase 2 trial right now and two more which have finished Phase 1 trials. These 5 additional drugs include treatment for migraine headaches, breakthrough pain, acute pain attacks, and insomnia. Since the filing of its first IND in 2004, Alexza has dosed more than 2,600 patients and subjects with its Staccato technology, in 22 different clinical trials under six different INDs for Staccato-based product candidates.


      Alexza Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALXA) has a drug, AZ-004, up for FDA approval. The AZ-004 NDA is a combination drug-device NDA (meaning that both drug and device will be up for approval consideration together using the same New Drug Application). The PDUFA date for this NDA is set by the FDA for October 11, 2010. AZ-004 has been in development since 2004 when its first IND was filed. AZ-004 targets the 22 billion dollar worldwide antipsychotic market (15 billion dollars in the United States alone). AZ-004 is indicated for the treatment of agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. There are 2.4 million schizophrenia patients and 5.7 million bipolar disorder patients in the United States; agitation is a common and severe symptom of both diseases. AZ-004 itself has $400 to $500 million potential.

      Acute agitation, characterized by unpleasant arousal, tension, irritability and hostility, is one of the most common and severe symptoms of many major psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), bipolar disorder affects about 5.7 million American adults while schizophrenia afflicts about 2.4 million people in the United States. Market research among physicians and health-care providers indicates that over 90% of these patients will experience agitation during their lifetime and that about 70% of those who experience agitation will have one to six episodes per year. Market research studies with schizophrenia patient caregivers and bipolar patients indicate these patients currently experience an average of 11 to 12 episodes of acute agitation each year. Of which, Market research indicates that approximately 50% of treated acute agitation episodes are treated in emergency settings, another approximately 35% of the treated agitation episodes suffered by schizophrenic and bipolar patients are treated in an inpatient setting (hospital and long-term residential settings), and approximately 15% are treated in a physician's office.

      Agitation episodes are currently treated about 55% of the time with oral antipsychotics and about 45% of the time with intra-muscular, or IM, injections. Oral medications work relatively slowly but are easy to administer, painless and are less threatening to patients. IM injections have a faster onset of action and a higher predictability of drug effect, but because they are invasive, IM injections are usually the treatment option of last-resort. Currently, no non-invasive therapies are available that work faster than 30 minutes to help agitated patients in need of treatment. This is where AZ-004 comes into play. AZ-004 is an easy to administer and painless way to administer relief using a fast method.

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