One of a new class of drugs being advanced by GTx delivered positive data in a mid-stage trial to combat muscle wasting in cancer patients--an unmet medical need with no currently approved therapeutics.
Memphis-based GTx says that Ostarine--which is partnered with Merck--triggered a statistically significant improvement in lean body mass and muscle performance in the Phase II study. The data was presented at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society in Washington. GTx is advance several selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) therapies in clinical programs. The SARMs are designed to work much like testosterone.
"These Phase II results demonstrate the potential of a SARM to fill an important unmet need, as there are currently no FDA-approved therapies available for cancer cachexia (muscle wasting)," said Dr. Adrian Dods, a professor at Johns Hopkins and one of the investigators in the study. "Approximately half of all cancer patients suffer from the devastating effects of cancer induced muscle loss. Increasing lean body mass may improve patients' quality of life and even their response to cancer treatment."