Savient Pharmaceuticals has reported that patients with elevated blood uric
acid levels and treatment-resistant gout who were treated with its investigational
drug Puricase (PEG-uricase) had substantial and sustained reduction in plasma
urate levels. In addition, two case studies from the Phase II open-label trial
show anecdotal photographic evidence that treatment with Puricase unexpectedly
resolved tophi, the nodular deposits of urate that can cause pain, local ulceration,
disfigurement and joint destruction.
Puricase is a polyethylene glycol conjugate of recombinant porcine uricase (urate oxidase) for the treatment of patients with severe gout for whom conventional therapy is contraindicated or has been ineffective. The company expects to initiate a Phase III clinical testing program during the first quarter of 2006.