Jan 4 Heron Therapeutics Inc on
Wednesday said its experimental combination drug for
post-operative pain led to significant reductions in pain
intensity and need for opioids, according to initial data from a
Heron shares jumped more than 8 percent in extended trading
after the results were released.
The drug, HTX-011, which combines a long-acting version of
the anesthetic bupivacaine with the anti-inflammatory meloxicam,
produced a statistically significant 36.6 percent reduction in
pain versus placebo through 96 hours following abdominoplasty, a
cosmetic procedure commonly known as a tummy tuck.
Statistically significant reductions in pain were reported
between 24 and 48 hours, 48 to 72 hours, and 72 to 96 hours
compared with placebo after a single administration of HTX-011,
the company said.
HTX-011 also led to statistically significant reductions in
use of opioid medication, which could make it an important
alternative if approved. Post-surgical use of opioids can cause
severe constipation and lead to future abuse of the highly
addictive pain drugs.
Following discussions with U.S. health regulators, Heron
said it expects to begin larger Phase III studies this year with
an eye toward seeking approval in 2018.
Heron said its combination pain therapy could be used
following a wide range of surgical procedures involving small to
very large incisions, such as with abdominoplasty. The drug,
which is applied directly to the incision site, has previously
been tested in bunionectomy and hernia repair.
Heron shares rose to $15 in extended trading from a Nasdaq
close at $13.80.
(Reporting by Bill Berkrot; Editing by Leslie Adler)