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Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Announces First Patients Dosed In XIAFLEX® Phase Ib Cellulite Study

Stocks in this article: AUXL





MALVERN, Pa., Jan. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AUXL), a specialty biopharmaceutical company, today announced that the first cohort of patients has been dosed in its phase Ib trial of XIAFLEX ® (collagenase clostridium histolyticum) for the treatment of edematous fibrosclerotic panniculopathy (EFP), commonly known as cellulite.  Cellulite has been reported to occur in 85-98% of post-pubertal females and rarely in men.  The condition is prevalent in women of all races. (1,3)

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101202/MM10881LOGO )

Cellulite is described as a localized metabolic disorder of tissue under the skin, which can involve the loss of elasticity or shrinking of collagen cords, called septae, that attach the skin to lower layers of muscle. When fat in cellulite prone areas swells and expands, the septae tether the skin, which causes surface dimpling characteristic of cellulite.  XIAFLEX treatment is intended to target and lyse, or break, those collagen tethers with the goal of releasing the skin dimpling and potentially resulting in smoothing of the skin.  

"For many women, cellulite can be a source of considerable embarrassment or self-consciousness," said Dr. James Tursi, Chief Medical Officer at Auxilium. "Current treatments of cellulite with creams, light-based procedures or liposuction provide limited or no effectiveness. The clinical development of XIAFLEX, if successful, could lead to the first FDA-approved, office-based medical treatment option that is supported by scientific results."

The phase Ib study is a single site, open-label dose-escalation study that is targeted to enroll 63 women between 21 and 60 years of age. The objectives of the study are to assess the safety, effectiveness, and pharmacokinetics of XIAFLEX for the treatment of EFP. Topline results are expected in the second half of 2012.

"Dosing in the cellulite clinical trial represents another important development milestone for Auxilium as we advance a fourth potential indication of XIAFLEX into the clinic, further diversifying XIAFLEX's growing pipeline," explained Adrian Adams, Chief Executive Officer and President of Auxilium. "We believe cellulite represents a significantly undertreated condition and that innovative approaches such as XIAFLEX may one day be a viable solution for treatment."

To qualify for the study, participants must have EFP in the posterolateral thighs and/or buttocks for at least 12 months prior to a screening visit. Following screening and determination of eligibility, study participants will be assigned to one of seven groups that vary in treatment dose, injection concentration and volume. Subjects will receive 10 concurrent injections (0.1 or 0.5 mL per injection) of XIAFLEX via a standardized template over a targeted area (8 cm x 10 cm) of EFP.  The total dose of XIAFLEX that will be administered into the targeted area will range between 0.0029 mg and 0.116 mg; these doses represent between 0.5% and 20% of the dose used in a single injection for Dupuytren's contracture (0.58 mg). Safety will be evaluated through the collection of adverse events, as well as a targeted assessment of local reactions to the treatment. The treatment effectiveness will be evaluated by investigator and patient assessments, as well as 3-D photographic imaging techniques. More information on the study will be posted at www.clinicaltrials.gov.

About CelluliteCellulite, also known medically as edematous fibrosclerotic panniculopathy, describes a pathologic inflammatory condition, in which lobules of subcutaneous adipose tissue extend into the dermal layer.  These changes can visibly affect the shape of the epidermis and resemble an orange peel-like dimpling of the skin.(1)

In the normal subcutaneous fat layer directly under the skin, there are both perpendicular columnar and net-like fibrous connective tissue called septae. These fibrous septae, made of types I and III collagen, connect the epidermis to the dermis and create a network of compartmentalized adipose deposits. Women tend to have a higher proportion of columnar septae that are perpendicular to the epidermis, while men tend to have more of the net-like system.  In cellulite, the subcutaneous fat cells swell and push upwards. (2)   As a result, the skin between the septae is pushed up and the perpendicular septae act as an anchor to pull the epidermis downwards and form the classic cellulite dimple. The surrounding adipose tissue forms small bulges under the epidermis around the dimple that can give skin a "cottage cheese" texture.

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