The US biotech announces that it has licensed a late-stage stroke drug that could be the first treatment advancement in the therapy area since the 1990s.

Biogen will pay Remedy Pharmaceuticals $120 million for Cirara, which is currently heading towards Phase III trials in ischaemic stroke.

If Ciara makes it to the market, it could potentially be the first new stroke treatment in 20 years since alteplase, which is currently the only approved therapy for the condition.

Biogen's executive vice president for R&D Michael Ehlers said: "Cirara represents a potential breakthrough stroke treatment that accelerates our efforts to build a portfolio of new therapies for neurologic diseases.

"We believe the data supporting the potential of Cirara are compelling and that [it] can be a first-in-class therapy that gives physicians the ability to meaningfully improve patient outcomes in an area where effective treatments have been few and far between."

The stroke treatment is an intravenous formulation of glyburide, which is well-established as an oral treatment for type 2 diabetes, and Remedy has been looking to repurpose it for stroke.

It had mixed success in a Phase II trial, managing a 25% drop in neurological death against a 7% reduction with placebo, although it missed its primary endpoint of reducing the need for surgical intervention.

Nonetheless, the FDA has approved a Phase III trial of Cirara and awarded the drug orphan status whilst also adding it to the Fast Track review programme.

Source - PharmaTimes

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