Icatibant [HOE 140, JE 049] is a potent, specific and selective peptidomimetic bradykinin beta2-receptor antagonist. It has a modified peptide structure, and is the first bradykinin receptor antagonist to act on the guinea-pig trachea without demonstrating agonist effects. Icatibant was originated by Hoechst Marion Roussel (now Sanofi-Aventis). Jerini is seeking a partner for development and marketing of icatibant for the treatment of refractory ascites in liver cirrhosis, angioedema and burns. In August 2004, Aventis merged with Sanofi-Synthelabo to form Sanofi-Aventis.Icatibant has shown an excellent safety profile in phase I studies. In December 2003, Jerini demonstrated positive results in the phase IIa study. Results obtained were statistically significant and clinically relevant. At the BIO 2004 International Annual Convention (BIO-2004) [San Francisco, CA, USA; 6-9 June 2004], Jerini reported plans to initiate phase IIb trials in this indication in the second half of 2004. Positive results from an icatibant formulation comparative study, in patients with acute attacks of hereditary angioedema, were announced in August 2004; IV and SC formulations showed no difference in efficacy and safety. It was announced in September 2004 by Jerini that a pivotal study, known as For Angioedema Subcutaneous Treatment (FAST) 1, had been initiated in the US and Canada. The protocol of a European study, to be known as FAST 2, is to be submitted to the authorities in September 2004. Jerini expects to launch the product in 2006. The US FDA granted icatibant, for the treatment of hereditary angioedema, fast-track designation in July 2004. In January 2003, the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products granted icatibant orphan drug status in Europe for the treatment of angioedema. In November 2003, Jerini announced that effective December 2003, icatibant had orphan drug status in the US for the same indication. [References: 26].
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