Spotlight On... Shionogi's OIC drug clears another Phase III hurdle; Califf up for Senate vote; and more...

Japanese drugmaker Shionogi said its in-development treatment for opioid-induced constipation met its main goal in a late-stage trial, a positive development for the company as it moves toward a fast-crowding market. The drug, naldemedine, met its primary endpoint by increasing the frequency of bowel movements for 47.9% of patients in at least 9 of the study's 12 weeks, Shionogi said. That marked a statistically significant improvement over placebo, which made a 34.6% difference, the company said. The latest results, presented at the American Academy of Pain Medicine this week, mark the third Phase III success for naldemedine, Shionogi said, and the company plans to file its drug for FDA approval in the first half of this year. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca ($AZN) recently launched the opioid-induced constipation (OIC) treatment Movantik, which competes with Sucampo Pharmaceuticals ($SCMP) Amitiza and Valeant Pharmaceuticals' ($VRX) Relistor in the space. Release

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