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Array Up on Positive Data

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Array BioPharma Inc. (ARRY) recently announced positive results from a phase II study (n=184) on ARRY-502, being developed for the treatment of mild-to-moderate persistent allergic asthma. Array’s share prices were up over 10% on the news.

Array conducted the placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind phase II study in the U.S., where there are more than 12 million patients suffering from mild-to-moderate persistent allergic asthma.

Results from the study demonstrated a significant improvement in pre-bronchodilator Forced Expiratory Volume in one second (FEV1), a measure of lung function, in patients treated with ARRY-502 compared to those in the placebo arm. ARRY-502 was also shown to be well tolerated in comparison to placebo.

Array mentioned in its press release that ARRY-502 treatment also resulted in reduced short-acting beta agonist use, asthma control, forced vital capacity improvement, symptom free days during treatment, improvement in rhinasthma and asthma quality of life questionnaires.

The study further revealed that the overall frequency of adverse events was lower in patients treated with ARRY-502 compared to those under placebo.

Array intends to continue the development of ARRY-502 for the treatment of allergic asthma based on the positive results. The company is on the lookout for a partner to achieve the objective.

We note that currently, Merck & Co. Inc.’s (MRK) Singulair is approved for the treatment of allergic asthma. Array mentioned in its conference call that ARRY-502 is the only candidate in the last 15 years, other than Singulair, to demonstrate clinically meaningful activity in allergic asthma.

Array BioPharma carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). However, biopharma stocks such as Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) and Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CADX) presently look better positioned with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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