Acadia cancer drug takes safety hurdle
British drug developer Acadia Pharma (Cambridge) has successfully completed Phase I dose escalation studies on APD515, an oromucosal formulation of a muscarinic agonist for treatment of xerostomia that affects 80% of advanced cancer patients. The company, which has raised $15m in a private placement to institutional investors in mid-January, announced it will start Phase II studies in the second quarter 2011. Xerostomia results from reduced salivary flow or altered salivary composition and is common in advanced cancer patients, in the elderly, in people taking a wide range of common medications and in certain conditions such as Sjögren’s syndrome. Acadia expects sales up to £120m per year in this indication.