Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:SGYP) announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved TRULANCE™ (plecanatide) for the treatment of adults with chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). TRULANCE is the first drug designed to replicate the function of uroguanylin, a naturally occurring and endogenous human gastrointestinal (GI) peptide that is thought to stimulate fluid secretion which results in a stool consistency associated with more regular bowel function.
“We are thrilled with the approval of TRULANCE because it provides an additional, much-needed, new treatment option to help adults with chronic idiopathic constipation and their healthcare providers manage this condition,” said Gary S. Jacob, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. “I am confident that we truly have the right team with the right strategic vision and the right launch plan to successfully bring TRULANCE into this large but underserved market.”
CIC is a complex, functional GI disorder defined by symptoms including fewer than three bowel movements a week and hard-to-pass or incomplete bowel movements, for which there is no identifiable cause.1,2 CIC affects approximately 33 million Americans and an estimated 14 percent of the global population.2
The efficacy and safety of TRULANCE was evaluated in the largest Phase 3 CIC clinical trials to date, which included more than 2,600 patients in two randomized, 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of TRULANCE.
Over 12 weeks, patients treated with TRULANCE achieved a significantly greater efficacy responder rate — the primary endpoint defined by the FDA for regulatory approval in CIC — in both studies compared to placebo (Study 1: 21% vs. 10%; Study 2: 21% vs. 13%, p<0.005 for both studies). Efficacy responders were defined as patients who had at least three complete spontaneous bowel movements (CSBMs) in a given week and an increase of at least one CSBM over baseline in the same week for at least nine weeks out of the 12-week period, including at least three of the last four weeks.
Over 12 weeks, patients who received TRULANCE in both studies also had improvements as compared to placebo in stool frequency (as measured by the number of spontaneous bowel movements per week), stool consistency (as measured by the Bristol Stool Form Scale) and straining with bowel movements.
“The impact of chronic constipation on the lives of affected patients is often underestimated,” said William D. Chey, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Director of the GI Physiology Laboratory, and Co-Director of the Michigan Bowel Control Program at the University of Michigan. “TRULANCE presents an exciting new treatment option for patients with chronic constipation. Its efficacy and safety profile, plus its negligible systemic absorption, are attractive attributes that make it a welcome addition to our treatment options.”
In an integrated analysis of both studies, diarrhea was the most common adverse reaction, reported in 5% of patients treated with TRULANCE compared to 1% of patients treated with placebo. Overall discontinuation rates were low among patients treated with TRULANCE and placebo (4% vs. 2%, respectively) and the most common adverse reaction leading to discontinuation was diarrhea (2% for TRULANCE compared to 0.5% in placebo).
The approved dosing regimen for TRULANCE is 3 mg taken orally, once daily, with or without food at any time of the day. TRULANCE can be swallowed whole or crushed in applesauce for those who are unable to swallow medication.
Shares of Synergy Pharmaceuticals closed today at $6.41, down $0.12 or -1.84%. SGYP has a 1-year high of $6.97 and a 1-year low of $2.50. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $5.76 and its 200-day moving average is $5.10.
On the ratings front, SGYP has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released yesterday, BTIG analyst Tim Chiang reiterated a Buy rating on SGYP, with a price target of $11, which represents a potential upside of 72% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on January 4, Oppenheimer’s Derek Archila initiated coverage with a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $10.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Tim Chiang and Derek Archila have a yearly average return of 17.1% and a loss of 0.5% respectively. Chiang has a success rate of 57% and is ranked #291 out of 4355 analysts, while Archila has a success rate of 13% and is ranked #3018.
Overall, one research analyst has assigned a Hold rating and 5 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $8.75 which is 36.5% above where the stock opened today.
Synergy Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company, which focuses on the development and commercialization of novel gastrointestinal (GI) therapies. Its product includes plecanatide and dolcanatide.