Merrion drug at next stage of tests
Irish drug development firm Merrion Pharmaceuticals is preparing to launch a phase III trial of its Orazol drug following consultations with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
If the trials are successful, the drug could be used for the early treatment of breast cancer.
Orazol is already used in oral form to treat bone metastases. The company said that the planned trial will expand Orazol's potential and that its use among early stage breast cancer patients could improve their prognosis.
Merrion chief executive John Lynch said the company hopes to commence the new trials in 2011 after the company concludes licensing discussions.
Merrion recorded a 63pc rise in revenue to €2.75m for the first half of the current financial year and reduced its net loss by 65pc to €810,000.
The company, which is a spin-off of Elan, develops oral versions of medicines that are usually given by injection. Among its products are an oral insulin treatment. The company is closely linked with the Denmark-based medicine supplier Novo Nordisk. Shares in Merrion were unchanged yesterday in Dublin at €3.40.