Alkermes Begins a Study on ALKS7106 for Treatment of Pain

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Alkermes (ALKS) announced that it has initiated a phase I study on pipeline candidate, ALKS 7106.

ALKS 7106, a new class of analgesic agents, is being evaluated for the treatment of pain. This new class of analgesic agents belongs to the category of potent opioid modulators with very low potential for abuse and overdose death.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled phase I study (n=80) will evaluate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of ALKS 7106 among healthy male adults. The results from the study are expected in the first half of 2015.

Alkermes has a robust pipeline. We note that Alkermes was in the news earlier in the week as well after it submitted its New Drug Application (:NDA) for aripiprazole lauroxil in the U.S. The company is looking to get aripiprazole lauroxil approved for the treatment of schizophrenia.

The recent developments related to Alkermes’ pipeline have been encouraging.

In Jul 2014, Alkermes announced the initiation of the phase III study, FORWARD-5, on pipeline candidate ALKS 5461 for the adjunctive treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). The study will evaluate the efficacy and safety of ALKS 5461 in patients suffering from MDD who have had an inadequate response to commonly prescribed drugs for depression, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

We expect investor focus to remain on pipeline updates from the company.

Alkermes, a biopharmaceutical company, carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the healthcare sector include Amgen (AMGN), Allergan (AGN) and Gilead Sciences (GILD). All three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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