Anacor Rises on Positive Data

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Shares of Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ANAC) rose 13% on Nov 13, 2013, following the positive preliminary data from the maximal use systemic exposure (:MUSE) study on its atopic dermatitis candidate, AN2728. Preliminary data from the study revealed that the candidate was generally well tolerated and was found to safe.

The multi-center, open label MUSE study evaluated the safety and efficacy of AN2728 on patients (aged between 2 and 18 years) with mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis with a mean involvement of 48% of total body surface area (:BSA).

The primary endpoints included safety and tolerability based on the frequency and severity of systemic and local adverse events (AEs) as well as the pharmacokinetic profile, which showed that overall blood levels were low and similar to those seen in adults.

Secondary endpoints included descriptive assessments of improvement in the severity and extent of disease based on the Investigator Static Global Assessment (:ISGA), signs and symptoms of atopic dermatitis and treatable percent of BSA. The ISGA is a 5-point scale from 0 (clear) to 4 (severe). An ISGA score of 2 or 3 represents mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis. After four weeks of treatment with AN2728, 65% of patients achieved an ISGA score of 0 or 1 (almost clear) and 47% of patients achieved a score of 0 or 1 with a minimum 2-grade improvement. Around 78% reduction in BSA was seen following treatment with AN2728.

Anacor started a TQT (thorough QT) study on the candidate in Aug 2013. Results from the study are expected by year end. For AN2728, a phase III study in atopic dermatitis will start in the first half of 2014 depending on the end of phase II meeting with the Food and drug administration (:FDA) and data from the TQT study.

Anacor carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Currently, companies like Jazz Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (JAZZ), Impax Laboratories Ltd. (IPXL) and Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF) look well-positioned with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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