KemPharm, Inc. Expands Pain Therapy Pipeline With Discovery of KP51110/26/2011
KemPharm, Inc. of North Liberty announced its plans to initiate development of its recently identified lead compound KP511, a first-in-class oral prodrug of hydromorphone, which is a commonly used medication for the management of pain in patients where an opioid analgesic is appropriate. KP511 was identified using the Company's Ligand Activated Therapy (LAT) approach. KP511 is the second product candidate in KemPharm's pain therapy portfolio, which also includes KP201, a prodrug of hydrocodone that is on track for an NDA filing in early 2013.
In preclinical studies, KP511 exhibited superior pharmacological characteristics that may suggest an improved safety profile compared to currently marketed hydromorphone products, possibly reducing or preventing symptoms of constipation and limiting abuse potential. KP511 also features tamper resistant properties that make it difficult to extract hydromorphone from the prodrug, which is not active until cleaved in the body.
"We are excited about our discovery of KP511 because it broadens our opioid pain franchise and promises improved treatment outcomes for patients," commented Travis Mickle, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer at KemPharm. "Our goal is to create prescribing options for physicians to treat pain without the liabilities of drug abuse and diversion or the negative side effect of constipation typically associated with opioids."
"KP511 further emphasizes our comprehensive LAT platform and prodrug expertise," stated Sven Guenther, Ph.D., Vice President of Research at KemPharm. "KP511 represents our fourth lead molecule to be advanced from the KemPharm discovery team over the last four years, which is tremendous productivity given the size of our company."