Data From Early Short Bowel Syndrome Trials Presented

According to a story from PR Newswire, the biopharmaceutical company Therachon AG recently issued a presentation of results from the company’s Phase I clinical trial. This clinical trial tested the company’s experimental drug apraglutide in healthy volunteers for both tolerability and safety. Apraglutide is being developed as a treatment for short bowel syndrome. The company also presented data from a pre-clinical study using a rat model which compared the effectiveness of the drug alongside other glucagon-like-peptide 2 (GLP-2) analogs.

About Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS)

Short bowel syndrome is a disorder of malabsorption in which is small intestine is absent or does not function. The primary cause of short bowel syndrome is the surgical removal of a portion of the small intestine, which may be necessary to treat certain illnesses like necrotizing enterocolitis or Crohn’s disease. It is less commonly caused be damage to the intestine or being born with an abnormally short intestine. The primary symptom of short bowel syndrome is diarrhea. Others include bloating, foul smelling feces, anemia, dehydration, malnutrition, kidney stones, weight loss, fatigue, lactose intolerance, and heartburn. Short bowel syndrome is typically managed with a number of medications, such as lactase supplementation, loperamide, codeine, vitamin and mineral supplements, H2 blockers, and protein pumps inhibitors. The only cure for short bowel syndrome is intestine transplant, but this procedure is very risky. To learn more about short bowel syndrome, click here.

Study Findings

The results from the trial of health individuals suggest that a minimum dosing of once per week is suitable. The study found that apraglutide was well tolerated overall and there were not serious adverse events. 

In the comparative study using a rat model of short bowel syndrome, apraglutide was compared alongside teduglutide and glepaglutide. All of these drugs serve similar purposes and are classified as GLP-2 analogs. The study found that apraglutide displayed a longer half-life and had stronger intestinotrophic effects when doses of the same size were administered to the rats. The extended half-life of apraglutide also resulted in longer lasting effects.

These results suggest that this drug could be more effective than other treatments and has a favorable safety and tolerability profile. Hopefully continued clinical trials will demonstrate the utility of apraglutide in treating short bowel syndrome. 

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