Novo Nordisk completes PhIII hemophilia trial with positive results

In a Friday announcement, Novo Nordisk ($NVO) said it had completed the first Phase III trial of its drug N9-GP for hemophilia B patients. Sometimes called "Christmas disease," hemophilia B is the second most common form of hemophilia, a blood clotting disorder caused by a mutation of the Factor IX gene. In a trial of 74 participants, patients either were treated for 6 months on-demand or for 12 months with a prophylactic, or preventive, regimen of N9-GP once weekly. Those treated on-demand had, on average, 15.6 bleeding episodes per year compared to patients on prophylaxis, who experienced about one to three bleeding episodes per year. Among patients given the drug, 99% of bleeding episodes were treated with only one infusion, and in two-thirds of the patients, bleeding stopped completely. Patients given the drug also reported an improvement in quality of life during the trial. The Danish company said N9-GP appeared to have a safe and well-tolerated profile in trial participants. Biogen Idec ($BIIB), however, is ahead of Novo in development of a long-acting Factor IX product for hemophilia B. Release