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Elan Reports Successful Results of Antegren Trial for Crohn's Disease
      02/10/04 01:30 PM
HeatherAdministrator

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Elan Reports Successful Results of Antegren Trial for Crohn's Disease

By Kevin Smith

DUBLIN (Reuters) Jan 29 - Irish pharmaceutical firm Elan Corp Plc raised market hopes for its much-vaunted experimental drug Antegren on Thursday after it announced successful results from a key clinical trial in Crohn's disease.

The data are "very significant for patients with Crohn's disease-- the safety aspects of the drug and its efficacy are very encouraging," Lars Ekman, Elan's head of research and development, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"This is a big step forward, a major breakthrough," he said.

Elan is pinning its future on Antegren, principally as a treatment for MS. Data from phase III studies of Antegren's effect on MS are expected by late 2004 or early 2005.

The results of the phase III trial on Crohn's disease showed no recurrence of the disease during a 6-month course of the drug, Elan said.

There was a significant treatment difference of more than 30% in patients taking the drug compared with those taking a placebo, and no difference in the rate of side effects, it said.

The result is a boost for Elan after a trial last summer of the drug's effects on the initial phase of a Crohn's attack failed to show any difference between the drug and the placebo. The latest trial showed the drug to be effective in the longer-term treatment of the disease.

(Additional reporting by Ben Hirschler in London)

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/468001?mpid=24237

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