Stock in an Irish American drug company jumped by 60 per cent when it announced promising new results on a a heart drug yesterday.
The experimental drug significantly lowered fatty chemicals in the blood in a final-stage clinical study by Irish-American biopharmaceutical company Amarin.
Amarin is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, and has its research and development headquartered in Mystic Connecticut, USA. Amarin is listed in the U.S. on NASDAQ.
Fountain Healthcare, the Irish life sciences venture capital fund which last year organised a $70 million fundraising for the company, were delighted with the result.
Dr Manus Rogan, founder of Fountain Healthcare, said the outcome was “an amazing success”.
“This is potentially a multibillion-dollar blockbuster,” he said,pointing out that many that key drugs, including Lipitor, will be off patent shortly.
“There will be a lot of interest” in AMR101’s data.” he predicted,In a drug trial, patients with triglyceride levels of more than 750 milligrams per deciliter of blood who were given a four-gram dose of AMR101 witnessed a 45percent fat reduction in their blood in comparison to patients taking a placebo.
Triglycerides are a type of fat associated with heart disease.
AMR101 is an omega-3 fatty acid which comes from certain fish oils. GlaxoSmithKline's Lovaza is another similar drug on the market, which is the only omega-3-based prescription which has U.S. approval.
Based on the success of the trial, Amarin said it will ask U.S. regulators to approve the medicine next year.
“We believe that these results and the overall profile of AMR101 position the drug candidate to be best in class in this market," said Joseph Zakrzewski, Amarin chief executive.
More than 3.8 million people in the US have high triglyceride levels, he added.
The trial which focused on 229 patients over 12 weeks, found that patients treated with a four-gram dose of the drug reported a 33 percent reduction in triglycerides.
The company almost failed after a previous trial of the same drug company failed as a a therapy for Huntington’s disease