Osiris says Prochymal met goals as treatment for children with graft vs. host disease

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Osiris says stem cell therapy meets study goals

COLUMBIA, Md. — Osiris Therapeutics Inc. said Wednesday its stem cell therapy Prochymal met study goals as a treatment for graft vs. host disease in children.

Osiris said most of the patients responded to Prochymal, and the drug significantly improved survival. The study tested Prochymal on 59 children with graft vs. host disease — a side effect of organ or bone marrow transplants — for 28 days. The patients had not been helped by other therapies.

Osiris said 63 percent of the patients responded to treatment with Prochymal, and they survived longer than subjects who weren’t treated with the adult stem cell therapy. The company said there were no serious side effects associated with Prochymal.

The drug is available to patients whose lives are endangered by graft vs. host disease. The latest study results follow data in September that showed the experimental treatment did not reach its main goals in adult studies that tested Prochymal against graft vs. host disease, a side effect of bone marrow transplants.

Osiris is developing Prochymal through a partnership with Genzyme Corp. of Cambridge, Mass. Genzyme has the right to sell the drug in all countries except the U.S. and Canada. The companies are testing Prochymal as a treatment for acute graft vs. host disease and for graft vs. host disease that does not respond to treatment with steroids. They are also conducting studies of Prochymal in Crohn’s disease, lung disease, type 1 diabetes, and acute heart damage.

Osiris stock rose 25 cents, or nearly 3 percent, to close at $8.77. Genzyme shares gained 75 cents to close at $56.50.

will not be displayed