LAVAL, Quebec, Dec. 17, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Acasti Pharma Inc. (" Acasti") (TSX-V:APO), a Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc. (" Neptune") subsidiary, announces a clinical study update and announces the first ever human data of safety and efficacy of its patented prescription drug candidate CaPre®.
Acasti has achieved significant progress in the two presently ongoing clinical studies. The registrational phase II double blind placebo controlled clinical study has completed its first of two interim analysis. The review committee assembled to evaluate the progress of the study reviewed the interim analysis relative to drug safety and efficacy, and agreed, unanimously, that the study should continue as planned. All committee members were convinced that there are no concerning toxicity issues and that the signals of possible CaPre ® therapeutic effect, noted as reduction of triglyceride in the groups evaluated, were reassuring and clinically significant to allow the further continuation of the study. As it is customary, the data was provided to the committee members blind, meaning that the identity of the three groups was not revealed. Since the data showed no safety concerns and a strong clinical signal the decision was made, by the committee, that it is safe to continue the study and that there is no need to unblind the data.
The second phase II open label clinical study should be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2013. It has been delayed due to the need for further patient recruitment after the approved clinical trial amendment to add an additional 4g/day CaPre® treatment group, following a FDA recommendation to evaluate the effect of a 4g dose. Acasti was able to obtain completed clinical data from a cohort of patients that completed an eight-week treatment with 2g CaPre® per day, which will not be included in the primary analysis under the amended protocol. Test results of 23 patients were analysed of whom 19 had baseline triglyceride levels between 204 and 476mg/dl. The data showed a statistically significant 25% (p<0.05) reduction in triglycerides after eight weeks of treatment. Besides the important decrease in triglycerides, CaPre® also decreased Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL), Very Low Density Lipoprotein (VLDL) and non-HDL lipids and increased High Density Lipoprotein (HDL).