This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Biocryst's Gout Drug Fails to Impress

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC (TheStreet) -- Biocryst Pharmaceuticals' (BCRX) new gout drug data released Wednesday are underwhelming and don't come close to matching the efficacy of a competing gout drug from Ardea Biosciences (RDEA).

Like its protracted and largely wasted effort to develop a new flu drug peramivir, Biocryst also appears to be squandering shareholder money with the gout drug BCX4208.

Biocryst's phase II study enrolled 279 gout patients who were not adequately controlled while taking allopurinol, an older medicine that is considered the current standard of care. The gout patients were randomized among four once-daily doses of BCX4208 or a placebo. All the patients continued to take allopurinol.

After 12 weeks of treatment, the gout patients treated with BCX4208 plus allopurinol had response rates ranging from 33% to 49% compared to 18% for patients treated with a placebo plus allopurinol. The difference in response rates was statistically significant in all but one of the BCX4028 doses tested.

The results were good enough for Biocryst to declare victory and a positive study, but the BCX4028 data are hardly clinically relevant compared to the drug's main competition.

Ardea Bioscience ran a similar phase II study in the same type of allopurinol-resistant gout patient for its experimental drug lesinurad (RDEA594.) The results presented this past spring demonstrated lesinurad response rates in the 70-80% range compared to 28% for placebo.

Biocryst's BCX4208 data look even worse when you consider that the study's best 49% response rate in the highest 40 mg dose cohort also caused significant toxicity. Eight patients treated with the 40 mg dose of BCX4208 had to discontinue the study because the drug caused an unsafe drop in their CD4 immune cells. Two patients in the 20 mg BCX4208 dose cohort also had to drop out of the study for the same reason.

Gout is caused by elevated uric acid levels in the bloodstream that, in turn, causes painful swelling and pain in joints. Gout drugs are designed to lower uric acid levels.

Ardea plans to begin phase III studies of lesinurad in gout before the end of the year. Biocryst is still waiting for additional data from phase II studies expected next year.

Tell me again why investors should place any value in a Biocryst gout drug that is late and relatively ineffective?

--Written by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Adam Feuerstein.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/adamfeuerstein.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,960.57 -123.23 -0.72%
S&P 500 1,978.34 -9.64 -0.48%
NASDAQ 4,449.5640 -22.5440 -0.50%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs