Company will Continue to Test Cocaine Addiction Treatment Drug

Company will Continue to Test Cocaine Addiction Treatment Drug

Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners Inc. says it will continue developing an anti-addiction drug that has failed in two clinical trials, as the company believes the treatment is safe and effective.

The Associated Press reports that Catalyst said its drug vigabatrin failed as a treatment for cocaine addiction because patients in the trial did not take the drug regularly.

Based on analysis of results from patients who did take vigabatrin regularly, Catalyst said that there is evidence the drug works and is safe. However, it also said the drug failed in treating methamphetamine addiction.

The company said it has analyzed patients’ urine from the cocaine study, and found that less than 40 percent of patients were taking vigabatrin as often as they were supposed to.

Catalyst said an independent panel of experts agreed with its view that there is enough evidence to continue testing the drug because it increased abstinence from cocaine and reduced use, along with reducing the number of days the patients used cocaine. The trial was designed with the assumption that 85 percent of the patients would take the drug as scheduled.

Catalyst reported results from the methamphetamine study on Thursday. It said patients who took vigabatrin were 2.5 times more likely to stay off the drug in the last two weeks of the 12-week study. That was not much better than patients who were taking a placebo, but the company said it is an encouraging result.

Merriman Curhan Ford analyst Edward Nash said Catalyst addressed the reasons for the failure of the cocaine study, and he now thinks the company has a chance to develop vigabatrin successfully.

“We believe this creates a light at the end of the tunnel for Catalyst,” Nash said in a note to clients.

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